Google has officially launched Google Video in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the UK and Canada.

The company has also reached initial content distribution deals for some videos. Users visiting each new Google Video site will see a home page in their own language featuring content from their native country, while still being able to search through Google's growing international index. The UK site is here.   
The service lets users watch, browse, search, vote on, upload and share video with others across the world. There's no limit to the size of video which can be shared. Video content can also be posted to blogs and MySpace, and content can be downloaded to the computer or to an iPod.

Expect key shows to make it online

Joanna Shields, European director of partnerships at Google said: "The rise of online video is making it easier for people to express themselves. By launching Google Video in these new markets we will enable more people in more countries to search for, upload and share video content in more languages. We're excited to work with our content providers and advertisers around the world to help them use Google Video to reach a wider global audience".    

The company also confirmed that it's building a network of media partners across Europe who will be uploading their content over the coming months.

Such partners include A&E TV, who produce the History and Biography channels who have made some content available through the European service. Other European networks and independent movie makers have also made content available through the service.

ITN gets ready for online

Mark Wood, chief executive of ITN, said: "As one of Google Video's original launch partners in the US earlier this year, ITN is very excited to enter into the next stage of global roll out of this unique service.  Already our content has proved a huge hit in the North America attracting over one million previews in its first six months."
Henning Lindblad, senior marketing manager of Buena Vista International Europe explained: "We're really excited to work with Google for their European launch of Google Video, which enables movie-goers to seek out exclusive and exiting video content for our upcoming films".
Roei Amit, director of online content at L' Institut National de l'Audiovisuel, France said: "Following our release of 100,000 archive videos, we are delighted to be part of the launch of Google Video. We are expecting the service to be a fantastic window to the world, highlighting the unprecedented and innovative effort Ina has made over the last years to restore and digitise radio and television archives".