How Apple and Google will control TV

“Last year’s tablet feeding frenzy [at CES] points toward the future of TV,” Mike Elgan writes for Computerworld. “If you’re not Apple or Google, you’d better be one of those sucker fish that clings on. Within the next three years, everyone else is going to be lunch.”

“Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt said last month that by the summer of this year, the majority of TVs available in stores will have Google TV ’embedded ‘It’s not exactly clear what Schmidt meant, or how accurate his prediction is likely to be. Google TV is a boob-tube specific version of its Android mobile platform running a special version of its Chrome browser. Regardless, Google is sinking its teeth into television, and it’s likely to keep chomping away until it gets its fill,” Elgan writes. “Google is a great white shark circling and thrashing around in clear view. But lurking out there somewhere is an even scarier creature — Apple. Landing content deals has been hard for Apple, according to insiders. After seeing what Apple did to the music industry, Hollywood executives are holding on to their wallets when Apple is around. Still, Apple’s mission, which appears to be becoming the content consumption conduit of the lucrative, profitable end of the market, combined with market power and billions in cash, will eventually win the day.”

MacDailyNews Take: The only thing Apple did to the music industry was to save it from oblivion.

Google and Apple’s “approaches mirror the open/fragmented, closed/integrated binary choice Google and Apple present to smartphone buyers,” Elgan writes. “Either way, all roads lead to Silicon Valley.”

“The future of television advertising is massively contextual. When Google advertises to you, it will target those ads based on your purchase history, interests, geographic location, social group and even possibly your web-searching history,” Elgan writes. “Before you cry “Big Brother,” be aware that people want contextual advertising whether they know it or not. The reason is that the TV will know what you want before you do, and offer it up on a silver platter. If you love sushi, and a TV commercial tells you about a new Japanese restaurant in your area (because the TV knows who you are and what you want), it’s a message you want to hear.”

Elgan writes, “Google and Apple are the two companies in the best position to fix what’s broken about television.”

Much more in the full article, including why today’s cable TV model is destined to go the way of the CD, here.

Related articles:
Google TV CES partners confirmed: LG, Samsung, Sony, Vizio – January 5, 2012
Strategy Analytics: With 32% share, Apple leading ‘Connected TV’ market with ‘hobby’ Apple TV – December 12, 2011
Logitech says Google TV a ‘gigantic mistake,’ pulls plug on set-top boxes – November 12, 2011


  1. What an ass. Telling me I want contextual advertising “whether I know it or not”.

    How about you don’t know one damn thing about me, or anyone else for that matter Mile Elgan so blow your opinions out your pie hole.

      1. No, that’s not right. I guess it is what you want, but I do not care to be spied upon and have my interests tracked so I can get ads stuffed in my face based on things that I supposedly want.

        No thanks.

      2. Most advertising is already geared toward what is perceived to be the core audience of a particular type of programming. Elgan even states so in his article, then claims it is used in a broad-brush guesswork.

        I am already annoyed at how advertising traces me on the net. I see the same ads for a product I looked at on a site.
        Problem is, I already bought that product, and it is just creepy to keep seeing the same stuff over and over, and it limits what I may be interested in later.

        But what I would REALLY hate to see it degenerate into is contextual news. Right or left, all you get are stories picked to satisfy your worldview.

        It is no secret that I am a Conservative, but I don’t want to be limited to just that side of the argument. I never have, and most people that seriously want to make an educated decision on matters probably don’t either.

        We obviously have way too much of that on the net already…

    1. If “Google will be on TV sets” means it will be just one more Samsung or LG app, so be it. You’re free to ignore those. If they live deeper in the TV software and constantly monitor your behavior, that’s a slightly other matter (not necessarily bad — it will probably refrain from advertising contextual info from prn sites, and rather prefer to show more benign ads, e.g., travel info to the places that you have watched content about).

  2. Yeah, I don’t get his huge paradigm shift.
    There are changes coming, and more choices, but to limit them to Apple and Google is a bit nearsighted to me.

    I’ve said this often over the years, the shift from cable/satellite to online only will be slow because of cost and availability.

    Right now NetFlix (and Amazon, Blockbuster) are good deals because they are a small percent of Hollywood’s business.
    As they become more predominant, and cable/satellite/OTA lose customers, the prices for the online streaming will go up and/or be limited (like HBO-NetFlix) because as Hollywood loses money from the current content providers, they will demand higher returns from the newer ones.

    I think it will be several years before the huge changeover is complete, simply because most people can still get more programming cheaper though their current provider than subscribe to several online outlets.
    NetFlix and such may be good, but they are still far from being a sole provider.

    1. All the comments here seem to be very US-centric. Guys there are lots of people who live outside the US.

      But I agree with TT. This slow process will be even slower outside the US market.

      In the UK, we have a fine set of free channels, both satellite and FTA. In HD and SD. Personally, I am very content with the free output in the UK and if I need anything more, there are always the torrents and Netflix.

      Much the same goes for the EU.

      Also don’t forget, it takes a lot of investment to make top-drawer content. Programmes like Planet Earth need to know how the ROI will work in a pure online environment.

  3. What BS: “After seeing what Apple did to the music industry, Hollywood executives are holding on to their wallets when Apple is around.”
    Apple saved the music industry.

  4. I pay almost 200 a month on crap I don’t even watch. Few channels that I do watch tend to have the higher priced tag with channels that don’t appeal to me, pay 60$ for this crap but get more crap and so on …… When will this rape stop? Can’t wait till apple slaps them hard and treat them like bitches lol.

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