free html hit counter Update on Google Wallet, Google Listings, Google Tunes - John Battelle's Search Blog

Update on Google Wallet, Google Listings, Google Tunes

By - June 22, 2005

I recently sent a note to the folks at Google PR. It went something like this:

So, in the last week, it’s been

1. Google is starting a Paypal killer.

2. Google is starting a
craigslist killer.

3. Google is starting an
iTunes killer.

So, any thoughts about all of this?

Steve Langdon, who works with Google PR, got back to me yesterday. He sent me comments from Eric Schmidt regarding the PayPal rumours. They go as follows:

“We do not intend to offer a person-to-person stored-value payments system.”

“We believe that ecommerce can be improved and we are working on ways to improve the user experience. We are working on things in ecommerce.”

“The payment services we are working on are a natural evolution of Google’s existing online products and advertising programs which today connect millions of consumers and advertisers.”

“We are building products in the area to solve new problems in ecommerce.”

These sound a lot like “We are not planning to introduce a browser” comments. In other words, why do what’s already been done, when we can do better!?

As for the craigslist and itunes whisperings, Steve had this to say: “rumor and speculation.”

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11 thoughts on “Update on Google Wallet, Google Listings, Google Tunes

  1. Hashim says:

    Good work John! I hope you sent a trackback to all of those speculative posts.

  2. Lisa says:

    The fact that people are speculating about an “iTunes killer” from Google just shows how we’ve now reached new heights of unfounded hysteria about Google. Yes, they have a great search product. And Google Maps are pretty cool. Oh, and 1 GB of storage was a nifty idea. Music is about content, not technology. Talk of an iTunes killer is just talk from a bunch of guys who wished they work at Google.

  3. Gary Potter says:

    Charlene Li has struck a cord, not for a PayPal killer but for a Google Wallet. I think she might be onto something.

  4. Irie says:

    It’s the typical political rhetoric from Google. I am sitting at the edge of my seat waiting to see just how Google will improve internet commerce taking into account the stellar job they did with Froogle. I mean, Froogle was a real quantum leap in internet commerce.

    I have heard rumors on the net that Google was trying to acquire Craigslist. They either failed and will try to go at it alone, or are still trying to buy it. My two cents is that if they go at it alone, they will fail because they won’t be able to get the locally-focused following that Craigslist got. Why would anyone switch? They will probably bury it deep behind the main page in a beta receiving whatever drip-through traffic they usually get to their ‘other’ products.

    Regarding iTunes, Money please! There are a ton of music players out there. This is probably meant to lead to GMusic Store or something like that. There are already many players in that game too. Of course, they will make marginal money from these ventures because they have a captive audience from their internet search, but I don’t expect that they will make a killing like they did with AdSense.

    On the other hand, the internet is not a new market free from traditional economics. In fact, it is probably one of the purest forms of economics in real life due to a low barrier to entry, seemingly endless resources, etc. As competition increases (it will quickly) their margins will be squeezed. As we saw with American car makers, to be 3rd best in an industry now means bleading red. And that is the car industry!

    The internet is still the wild west-unexplored and sparcely populated. Look at any other industry a decade or two after it began. Look at television, or radio; things will really become interesting in the upcoming months and years.

    Take into account also, that Google does not hold to it’s word. If you look at how many linked entries they have to any site, it is vastly less than either Yahoo or MSN. Their claim that they search X number of pages is simply absurd. (Try it- ‘link:’ on Google vs. ‘link:’ on Yahoo) This pattern holds true for nearly all entries that I have tried. If every site, has fewer links that logically means that Google’s index is smaller. Simply put, it’s a sham.

  5. I think the phrase “stored-value” is really important here.

  6. Google competing with iTunes!? I don’t think so but it’s possible as the searching idea is present much in iTunes of course.

  7. John K says:

    It’s all about Froogle. Connect offline inventory with Froogle and BOOM! Next big thing.

    See here for a bit more:

  8. emmanuel says:

    I think Google is just gearing up for a new online store service:

    – free hosting
    – free stats (URCHIN)
    – easy to set up payment system (the Google Wallet)
    – prodicts exported to Froogle
    – free £20 voucher for adwords..
    – account set for adsense
    – free gmail account to receive orders in your mailbox …

  9. I think we have a while to wait for any sort of gTunes but the time is right for Google to make some headway into payments as a further means of monetizing and linking together their other ventures. It also opens the possibility of a way of giving some current things like video search a way to return something to TV and movie interests so they have an incentive to play along.

    They rule out stored value so it makes me wonder if they don’t want to develop and alternative to visa / mastercard with a lot less friction for smaller online payments as a start and eventually work their way up to larger payments. Google might just have the moxie to make it work. It’s not like merchants are happy with Visa / MC’s fees . Since it would be all electronic it would not be hard to undercut the legacy fee structure for credit card transactions.

  10. Something must be definetely done to the on-line payment system I mean harmonization. it’s impossible to use different online shops just because they use different payment methods.

  11. Laura says:

    Kool updates. Need to know more about these.