The Official Google Blog just announced that Google Alerts will now be available for video search queries. When new results for a video search you're interested in become available, you can get an email with links to clips on not just Google Video and YouTube, but on a handful of other video hosting sites as well.
Video is huge, I think it's established that it's not a fad. Comscore reported this month that US consumers are watching an average of 3 hours of video online in the month of July, more on Google sites than anywhere else. It's a lot higher than that in my house (though we watch StumbleUpon Video). I'd be very interested to see how that number compares with other forms of media consumption like movie theaters and newspapers.
Though it might seem small, the inclusion of video search in Google Alerts could be big. Sometimes it's the little things that make a big difference, especially when it's Google that does them. I'm willing to guess that there are as many or more people in this world who use the Google Alerts system as there are who knowingly read RSS feeds in a reader. While that makes me shudder on principle, any progress for a "publish and subscribe" paradigm instead of a "broadcast and hope they come" approach is good news in my book.
When video consumption numbers continue to rise, it will be because of small steps like this one, increasing the accessibility of the medium.