While the thought of Google's foray into the television space could be perceived to be another innovative way to tap into an additional source of advertising revenue, I think it could potentially be one of the greatest revolutions of this decade.
Google's mission is: "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful". Thinking of that broad statement you can essentially see where they are going with their plans.
1. World's Information - On the internet in pictures, text, maps, videos.
2. Universally accessible - Initially started on the PC, moved to mobile and now to TV. Also includes providing access to all users free, which is funded by advertising
3. Useful - Fast, simple to use and catered to the end user experience.
So looking at where Google has come from with their various products in the past and with revenues of US 23.651 billion (2009), you can be sure their intent is serious to make a dent in the TV space. It is also important to note they are an international company and will deploy this potentially in many foreign markets which is a factor when you take into account revenue source potential.
While it is not clear as yet of how it will work, it does essentially mean they have their crosshairs at all television productions. As their Google TV homepage indicates ( http://www.google.com/tv/), we are quite restricted on what we watch and when we watch it.
I myself have been there; you switch on the TV and there is no programming of interest on either pubic broadcast television or on cable, not even on the premium services. Historically television content accessibility has always been restricted including being limited by countries you were in, the time of the program, what news was reported and access to premium content because of costs.
This indicates to me that there is an actual huge potential for Google to change the way we use television forever. The demand is actually there, like Google Street View which is amazing for travelers, television has been far too limited for far too long and lacks real competition.
Current programming pays actors and hosts which drive ratings which in turn receive big advertising spend for their advertising on their programs. This big spend is driven by a somewhat guaranteed large audience for a particular advertiser from a program.
What could this Google move do? It will make Google a lot more money certainly, but the ramifications would be enormous for the general public. The web essentially through market forces will provide entrepreneurs and independent providers a place to not only share their programs, news and content, but actually directly compete with cable and broadcast TV for a audience based on the appeal of programming.
It's amazing that a company like Google has real principle and is willing to fight for the consumer, even for the potential for bigger profits. But that is what so great about a free market.
The views expressed are the subjective opinion of the article's author and not of FinancialAdvisory.com