For years now, start-ups and technology disruptors have been trying to change the television viewing experience. Mark Cuban was hypothesizing about the death of channels, with the introduction of Internet TV in the United States in 2005. However, other than a lot of visions and aspirations the market hasn’t really caught on. Change you see, doesn’t really apply to the television industry. After the “Golden Days” of television that saw a man walk on the moon the industry has been set in decades of stodginess with little or no change — innovation shifting to bigger and better things, with all eyes eventually falling on the Internet.
However, with the introduction of Google TV today, which joins the likes of Apple, AT&T and Microsoft in trying to champion Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), there may finally be enough momentum to trigger the Internet to TV avalanche. An avalanche that some analysts believe will lead to million global IPTV subscribers by 2013.
The innovation desperately needed in the television industry is replication of the Internet innovation in search and discovery that has occurred over the last decade. And, there’s probably no better company to replicate that than Google. With more video content and channels available than ever before before, watching and searching for video content between siloed channels, cable and satellite operators just doesn’t make sense. It’s a closed structure that would be like searching and enjoying the Internet without, well, Google.
Of course the introduction of this type of technology on pre-boxed televisions from Sony and others could also mean the holy grail of television advertising, which Google is really interested in. Advertisers have been seeking and gaining access to millions of consumers shifting to the Web to enjoy video content and technologies including personalization and speech-to-text solutions have enabled them to target these consumers with targeted advertorial better than they ever could through televisions. If “Googling” goes to the tube, these technologies and Google’s own AdWords’ system will be right behind it.