Google finding Google TV a tough sell to networks

Apple Online Store“Google Inc. is launching a campaign to line up TV networks’ support for its new Google TV software, but many remain reluctant to partner with a service they believe encroaches on their turf,” Jessica E. Vascello reports for The Wall Street Journal.

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MacDailyNews Take: Eric T. Mole must have been recused from the Board meeting where Steve Jobs explained all this long ago.

Vascello continues, “In recent weeks, Google has met with officials of TV networks including ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC to encourage them to work with the service, according to people familiar with the matter. Content owners, though, are skeptical that Google can provide a business model that would compensate for potentially cannibalizing TV owners’ existing broadcast businesses.”

MacDailyNews Take: “The problem with innovation in the TV industry is the go-to-market strategy. The TV industry has a subsidized model that gives everyone a set-top box for free. So no one wants to buy a box. Ask TiVo, ask Roku, ask us; ask Google in a few months. All you can do is add a box to the TV. You just end up with a table full of remotes, a cluster of boxes – that’s what we have today. The only way that’s going to change is if you tear up the set-top box, give it a new UI, and get it in front of consumers in a way that they’re going to want it. The TV is going to lose in our eyes until there is a better go-to-market strategy; otherwise you’re just making another TiVo.” – Apple CEO Steve Jobs, June 1, 2010

Vascello continues, making a point in her text and the accompanying graphic that Google TV will be able to play YouTube videos, but inexplicably failing to mentioning in her text or the accompanying graphic that Apple TV has been playing YouTube videos since June 2007.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We continue to believe (and the article above does nothing to dissuade us) that a significant part of Apple TVs problem is that Apple has failed (more like hasn’t bothered) to adequately explain it to people. We’ve sold more Apple TV units by simply showing people what it can do than you’d believe. Apple TV is likely approaching 10 million units sold by now with little or no marketing. We’ll always wonder how many units left on the table by deciding to run the Apple TV commercial once or twice and then forgetting about the product. We continue to love using our Apple TV units despite Apple giving it the red-headed stepchild treatment.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Robert S.” for the heads up.]


  1. Maybe it’s because for most people outside the USA there’s no decent content. In most (if not, but I can’t access all the stores) countries in Europe (maybe not Apple main focus, but it’s a market ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />) it’s impossible to get (rent, buy or whatever) movies or series.

    You’re stuck with a youtube and “play your own stuff” box… Not really interesting..

    This issue is unfortunately not easily resolved…

  2. So, for now, make a VCR like device. Like an internet bridge. It could take the HD and non HD media and record it the same way a VCR did not care about the source. The device could push it to the AppleTV or Apple’s billion dollar cloud storage service or just stream it to your TV. If a cable company or the officials of TV networks want in, they will have to strike a deal with Apple.

    The officials of TV networks will block and push Apple back until they can’t say NO! They could not stop a VCR so they can’t stop an all digital iVCR like device!

  3. Still have my Apple TV. Have not rented a movie from anywhere else in years, why? Have a small collection that I’ve “borrowed” and still enjoy using it as my MTV style (when they actually played music videos all the time) music video for parties and get togethers. I see no reason to change unless something better comes along.
    Hate the freak’n cable and satellite companies but what do you do. Renting freak’n giant boxes sucks and to tell you the truth, the ugliest freak’n thing in my rooms that I spend money trying to hide and don’t even get me going on those freak’n remotes.
    I would love to be able to pick up HD with a basic antenna if I could have have just a few channels but I can’t where I live so I’m stuck paying. It sucks!

  4. yeah that’s what Google dumb ass! Get they actually think that Steve Jobs did that anybody can do it. Netflix can’t even get networks support. What’s the deal is that Networks already figured out that they make more money with Apple then lose money with other services like Netflix. They not going to cannibalize it’s sales for Netflix or Google!

    HBO Delivers Streaming HD Video to IPad

  5. I shut down the big tv long ago. The only tv left in the house is in the master bedroom. It turned out to be the best thing I ever did. Now the kids are more active.

  6. The real problem Google faces is that partners see what the company really is: an ad company. This presents at least 2 problems off the top of my head:

    1. Google’s history shows they have less interest in making their OSs the best they can possibly be. Their vested interests are getting their OS on as many devices as they can and pushing their identity-grifting on as many consumers as possible. Their UI is serviceable, but a distant second to Apple’s. Apple, OTOH, is interested in selling hardware and making the hardware the best it can possibly be. Their focus is singular. Witness what Apple did for ATT. With one piece of hardware, they single-handedly brought that carrier back from obscurity.

    2. Networks deal with advertisers now. For the networks to enter into a deal where the UI to access their content is controlled by an *advertiser*, well, let’s just say the analogy of letting their current advertisers decide when the networks’ content gets aired wouldn’t be too much of a stretch. Google is also now on record as less than supportive of 100% net neutrality, so the idea that Google is interested in or would be open to “tiering” access to web content is now on the table.

    If Apple and Google are both knocking on the networks’ door for a potential partnership, it’s a no-brainer who will do more for the networks’ content.

  7. Unfortunately, I don’t think the networks will work with anyone. It’s all or nothing. The masses aren’t going to jump to a GoogleTV or iTV until the major networks get on board.

  8. For the networks and distributors (cable and satellite) it’s all about advertising revenue. How is Google or even Apple going to replace that? Movies are in the same boat. Cinema, on demand, DVD. Each time the providers get a cut and they don’t want to lose out on that revenue.

    I have 700 channel spewing out mostly crap and reruns. The only reason TV works for me anymore is the DVR. At least I can skip through the ads and don’t have to be around when a new episode is aired.

    We have to believe that the new Apple server farm is going to be used for content distribution. Although, I have a hard time thinking the networks are going to jump on board wholesale and let Apple route their feeds through AppleTV.

    Apple got the music biz to let go of their content because they were desperate. I don’t see the same desperation in TV or movie land.

  9. “Apple’s working in stealth mode on cracking this nut. Watch.”

    Exactly. Apple is continuing to invest research and development…as a “hobby” (Ho, Ho, Ho)…

    Until the time is right, the ecology is right, Apple’s intellectual property rights are in place, and then to spring a “new” product that will take years for the competition to attempt to compete with.

  10. OK I love apple to death however i really want a apple tv i have bought a few movies and i have tons of music videos i currently just plug my ipod to the av jack but i want a apple TV, however i cant get it when blockbuster has all them rental machines where it only costs $1 buck to rent if apple were able to do this 1 buck thing i would seriously go out in a heartbeat and get it. Is thier any reason as to y they are unable to do this i cant bring myself to pay 2.99 or 3.99 to rent a movie that most probably i will only see once I just dont get y apple cant do this. serioulsy is it the movie studios doing this if then y do they allow blockbuster or redbox the ability to do that?

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