The Diffusion Group came out with a report that predicts that consumers will watch more video content from the Web than from traditional television sources (free broadcast and subscription services) by just 10 years from now. Then on Thursday, Google announced “Google TV”. I’m starting to think that The Diffusion Group might be a bit pessimistic about video over the Internet.
First, Google is a proven game-changer when it wants to go after a market segment. The idea of using its Androind operating system to open Google TV up to the riches of the Web is a cool idea. It runs completely counter to the “walled garden” approach taken by manufacturer’s to date for their Internet-connected NeTVs. Instead, the idea is not to write off the huge variety, but rather just make it simple to find what you want. Who would you want — other than Google — to help you find something? (Don’t tell me you rather have Bing!)
But the second part is just as important. Look who is partnering with Google on this project: Sony, Best Buy, Adobe, Intel, and Logitech. And there’s even a subscription TV service pitching in: Dish Network. Google TV will be built right into some televisions, or you can get a separate box (that presumably will be inexpensive) to add the functionality to an existing system.
Will this accelerate the adoption of video streamed from the Internet into our living rooms? I certainly think so, and I definitely would not bet against Google TV.