Google has finally completed the loop it started a few years ago when it launched Google AdWords for TV Ads, when today it officially launched Google TV a consumer product based on Adobe Flash and Android 2.2. The Apple TV inspired device appears to be almost a beta version with much of the features already available with a HDMI or VGA cable, your PC and a your current TV. Some of the integrated features are likely to be found in the ability of Google to better target users with their TV AdWords platform and publishers can expand the audience for TV Adsense. Below you can watch the Google TV initial product demo featured at Google I/O 2010.
Google TV Trends
In an interesting benefit with the new Google search interface it can now add modules such as trends, and according to Google Trends, Google TV is the #1 most popular search term in the past hour as shown in the image below but peaked 3 hours ago. The point is that similar to the previous Twitter trends, growth worked on a percentage basis can skew the actual volume of searches for that term which can make it easy for such a term to rank #1 most popular search term when most of the search queries only really started in the last hour or two.
The interesting element is the searches related to Google TV are very action focused with searches for:
- sign up for google tv
- google tv search
- google tv invite
- get google tv
- google tv box
This shows that there is a strong interest in getting the product but most likely before people actually know what is it going to cost, when it will be available, what devices or TV networks will be compatible. It also shows that it is likely very early in the products life cycle as many purchase searches such as “how much does it cost”, “where can i get”, “can i buy google tv”, “google tv guides” do not yet appear as related search queries.
Google TV Hardware Partners
One of the likely benefits will be manufactures such as Sony and Logitech start to roll out with the software built into their hardware it will start to gain traction but that can take years as Digital TV is still struggling to gain a foothold and the addition of this may confuse consumers and complicate the steps to consider when buying your next TV.
Google TV Partner – Logitech
Logitech advises that its not here yet, and they will be providing full product details for their Google TV companion box later this fall. The Logitech Google TV companion box is an external device that connects your TV through a HDMI port, using a intuitive controller to use the Google TV platform.The issue for international readers is that you will have to reside in the USA to be able to use the new Logitech Google TV device.
The early sneak peaks confirm that the Logitech companion box will use Logitech Harmony technology which will integration with your current home entertainment system. It will offer features such as video calling and offer a variety of controllers, including a Google TV smart-phone app…
Logitech press pack download on the Google TV announcement.
Google TV Partner – Sony
Sony has pitched its Google TV device as the world’s first HDTV product that incorpates the Google TV format. Similar to Logitech there is a wait until the new Sony Internet TV device is available. Much less information is available about the new range of Sony TV products that Logitech provides about its device, which may mean the Sony product has a fair bit more development work before its due to be released.
- The HDTV device enables searching for: channel, show or website
- The HDTV device automatically upgrades its software
- The HDTV device allows you to customise your TV experience via Apps
- The HDTV device is powered with Intel Inside
- The HDTV device uses a handheld wireless QWERTY remote
The marketing Sony is using to promote its Internet TV seems very similar to how the iPhone was originally introduced as a new way to look at your phone.”iPhone Apple reinvents the phone” & “Say Hello to iPhone”
The new Sony Internet TV slogan is “Television, meet Internet.”, it makes it also very close to its competitor Apple who still runs “YouTube, Meet Apple TV”.
Microsoft Project Natal (Competitor)
It will be interesting to see how Google TV will compete with Microsoft Natal who doesn’t actually require you to use a keyboard or mouse to interact with your TV.
Apple TV (competitor?)
Apple TV has been around for a number of years, while the device is ground breaking it never had enough attention as many of the other products in the Apple range were offered, but this might be the finally push Apple needs to get the product back into the ring.
This is an obvious competitor to the current range of Samsung Internet TVs that already offer internet ready features and have for a number of years, the only difference is that Google is the search engine and Android is the operating system you will be using. Samsung also has the more flexible options for firmware and software updates with automatic via internet, manual via internet and manual via usb. This allows the product to be suitable to markets outside of the USA where ISPs can limit users bandwidth where Google TV only offers automatic updates.
The obvious competition is that Google TV is mainly linked with Google properties and uses Netflix to power its ondemand movie platforms. Samsung Internet TV runs mainly on the Yahoo content network using Y! TV Widgets and features the following competitors applications.
- Amazon Video on Demand
- BlockBuster ONDEMAND
The platform is likely to raise the interests of competition watch dogs as the ability of Google to link data and track users across multiple platforms has now been extended from PC to Mobile and now to TV. It is likely that Google Analytics will also require some slight tweaks to ensure this new platform can be tracked and advertisers are able to start to measure the true costs or benefits of advertising on TV. With regulators already struggling to swallow the idea of Google buying AdMob, any purchase by Google of set-top box makers or software developers purchased which would improve the Google TV platform may be disapproved.
Google Adsense for TV
One of the bigger benefits to Google and marketeers is the expansion of publishers who would be interested in Google Adsense for TV, where publishers are able to attract advertisers who traditional wouldn’t use TV easily to their networks. But Google needs its TV product to succeed in growing the network of advertisers in order to make its Google Adsense for TV profitable, but to attract advertisers it needs an audience with Google TV in their lounge room. So the whole focus of what Google Adsense can bring to your business depends on the success of the Google TV platform, so either buy shares in Google or buy a new Google TV…
- Adsense for TV reaches new advertisers - Leverage our platform and salesforce to reach our new to TV advertisers. Read their success stories.
- Adsense for TV allows you to maintain control - Exercise quality and editorial control over all ad creatives; approve and reject ads days before airtime.
- Adsense for TV offers quick, no-fee integration - Integrate with Google TV Ads in a few short weeks using our Fast Track integration tools.
- Adsense for TV offer precise measurement and insight - We provide anonymised tuning data from millions of set-top boxes that you can share with your salesforce, advertisers, and leads.
- Adsense for TV offers simpler, guaranteed payments - No make-goods, no stewardship, and we’re designed to provide thirty days net payment— regardless of collections.
Googled TV now what?
It is a very interesting power play by Google but it is not anything ground breaking thanks to Jason Kincaid at Techcrunch breaking the news 1 day early about Google TV, and there had been rumors for months about the product. The biggest impact I can see is that Apple will relaunch their Apple TV product, Hulu will face more competition from YouTube and Google will be able to sell more AdWords.