It was recently reported by the New York Times that YouTube is in negotiations with Lionsgate Entertainment, Sony, and Warner Brothers to allow YouTube to start hosting newer movies on their servers. Right now, YouTube hosts a collection of older movies, but they would like to expand this selection and make it more current. The new selections would be made available to viewers at or around their DVD release dates. Although previously opposed to this, YouTube would provide this service at a cost to the viewers.
In the past, YouTube has had trouble getting major advertisers to pay for space on their site, being that their content is not overly regulated or professional. By adding this new section to their site, they hope to attract more interest from larger organizations. This will be very similar to what NBC, Fox, and Disney did with Hulu. In a relatively short period of time, Hulu has already attracted many more big name sponsors then YouTube has, even though Hulu has a much smaller viewer base. However, instead of offering television shows for free with commercials, they will be offering online paid movie rentals.
Depending on how they structure their business model, YouTube could be offering something very similar to Netflix and Blockbuster. With their already enormous footprint on the internet and given their current computer network infrastructure, YouTube should be able to secure a large share of the online movie rental market. This could mean the end of Blockbuster or Netflix. Or it could force one of them to come up with the next generation process for renting movies.
The first time I came upon Google Wave was after a strong dose of some Benadryl, so needless to say I didn't quite understand what was being proposed (and I also had some weird dreams about being washed into a sea of Google G's.) I may have drowned that night, never to return to complete sanity, but I did revisit the Google Wave in a more awake and alert state.
Suffice to say, I finally got around to reading more into it and am extremely excited. New things come out all of the time in the IT world, however, actual innovation doesn't peer its head in the door too often. A lot of money is spent by companies trying to centralize their communications infrastructure - Microsoft developed some of the technologies in Sharepoint to act as a dump for things like email and IM, but Sharepoint is a huge development process that can also require a lot of costs for maintenance.
What Google Wave aims to do, essentially, is combine all of your communication protocols into a single trackable entity that comes equipped with a super sweet Outlook rip-off interface.
Microsoft has been developing Live for quite a while now, but there are so many different services involved with Live that I could frankly care less (especially now that Live Search has been re-tagged as Bing.) Google saw this, said ‘too much,' and then someone there came up with the genius idea of making them all the same product. Kudos.