Google unleashes its own TV, entire entertainment industry panics
Cable providers received a terrifying piece of news this week when Google announced the creation of Google TV, which combines cable and network television with programming available on-line through new televisions or boxes that use the search engine’s browsing technology. Users will be able to operate the TVs through a keyboard or their iPhones or Android phones and watch shows without going through the network on which they air, which could mean the collapse of subscription cable and satellite.
This, of course, has freaked out a lot of entertainment industry people, especially now that Google has refused to block access to bootlegged movies and TV shows, which could mean an onslaught of entertainment piracy. Worse, Google doesn’t know how it will compensate studios or networks for their content. So far, network execs appear calm. Anthony Soohoo of CBS Interactive told the Wall Street Journal the next step is “gaining an understanding of Google’s business model for the product and how it relates back to content owners such as CBS.”
TV advertising is an enormous market that, despite entering into an advertising agreement with NBC two years ago, is largely untapped by the Silicon Valley giant. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, TV advertising spending in 2007 was valued at $77.5 billion, about five times the value of Google. “There’s no secret plan. We’re not designing a rocket that’s going to the moon,” Vincent Dureau, head of Google TV technology, told the L.A. Times. “At the end of the day, the story’s simple. We’re putting a browser in the TV to enable a whole bunch of things that the studios and the networks are already doing today, but in a less disjointed fashion.” Sounds modest to us.