Podcast Audio | Posted by Phil Leigh on May 21, 2010
Yesterday Google, Sony, Intel, Logitech, DishNetworks, Adobe, and BestBuy announced a collaborative effort permitting consumers to conveniently access the Internet at their TV screens while simultaneously integrating with conventional television programming. Importantly, the CEOs of each participating company appeared on the stage as Google TV was officially introduced.
As software GoogleTV may be incorporated into hardware products from most any reputable manufacturer. Yesterday’s participants are only the early examples. Logitech will make an appliance that will transform any modern TV into GoogleTV. Sony will include it in new models of TVs and Blu-ray players. DISH, a satellite TV service, will install it on subscriber DVRs.
Regular subscribers know for over a year Inside Digital Media has repeatedly emphasized that the natural evolution of television is toward just such a concept. One example is this post about our February ’09 Third Generation Television market research report – 15 months ago.
GoogleTV is significant for two reasons.
First, it implies that major industry factors with enough power to invent the future at last see the true vision of television evolution. GoogleTV includes a browser and therefore does not restrict access to only selected components of the Web. I’d wager $100 against a good Cuban cigar that most anyone with a computer already connected to their TV screen is convinced that unlimited Internet access at TVs is inevitable. No matter how beautiful the Internet walled gardens attempted earlier by other TV and CE makers, consumers will eventually regard them as a walled prison, just as did Napoleon III at the castle of Ham.
Once Internet access is commonly available on TVs new transformative business models will begin to emerge. For example, ultimately sponsors will no longer pay for ads that don’t get watched. However, they will pay a bounty for ads that successfully motivate consumers to click-through and buy merchandise, or complete some other call to action.
Second, whether GoogleTV per se is successful is immaterial. Others will be motivated to respond. For example, despite repeated comments that AppleTV is merely a “hobby”, Google’s announcement will almost certainly motivate Apple to get much more serious about the Digital Living Room of the Future. We have emphasized this point in our Future of Apple research report as well as in this two-month-old post. At over $220 billion annually, the market opportunity in the United States alone exceeds four-times the size of Apple’s anticipated worldwide revenues this year. The chances of Apple forfeiting such a market to Google are as slim as an Apache Indian getting elected Pope.
For those who would like to learn more about how our research can keep you ahead of industry developments consider our free Webinar on at 2:00pm Eastern Daylight Time on June 10th to discuss our Future of Apple research report. Please e-mail phil(at)insidedigitalmedia.com if you would like to participate.