Archive for May, 2010

Google TV

May 22, 2010

Something to keep an eye on. I’m curious to see the technical design and the terms and conditions for this ecosystem.

It is not immediately clear why this initiative is a game-changer, as many others have had limited success in the mainstream so far (WebTV, Tivo, Windows Media Center, Roku, Apple TV, Boxee, etc.).

Bootstrapping such a system is always difficult, as it requires satisfying multiple groups of participants simultaneously (consumers, content providers, TV/device producers, advertisers, and finally Google itself) with a subtle balance.

The Google TV option (embedded in a TV or sold separately) should be very cheap, so TV makers and consumers would probably like this system. For TV makers, this could potentially attract new and upgrade buyers who may already be pretty satisfied with their current TV. An overhaul of the TV interface is long overdue anyways and 3D TV may not do the trick to seduce buyers. For consumers it would offer at least a large selection of YouTube content, plus some form of internet browsing.
As a consumer, I hope the device will support attached storage, to serve as a bittorrent client 😉

But convincing the large content providers may be another story. Would they prefer an open system, or rather more protection for their content? What pricing or revenue sharing model are they willing to accept? How heavy is the investment to onboard this platform, relative to the risks it carries (market and deployed devices initially small)?

Google does have some strategic assets, such as its brand name, a dominant position in online advertising, a lot of cash and significant experience in online media distribution.
One key opportunity for Google, of course, it to bring a personalized and targeted experience to the TV, bringing higher consumer and advertiser satisfaction, and overall greater revenues to split with content providers.