Google announced content partners for its Internet TV platform on Tuesday. The lineup includes a number of broadcasters, but lacks major television networks Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC.
Google introduced the concept of Google TV about five months ago at Google I/O. Google TV is a platform that combines traditional TV programming and web content through one interface. One of Google's goals with Google TV is to open up the living room to new innovation from content creators, programmers and advertisers.
"What is different about Google TV versus the other products that have entered the market is that it will have a full web browser and the ability to search," said Phil Leigh, senior analyst at Inside Digital Media. "The process of searching has become ingrained in our habits. That could be a big distinguishing point for Google TV."
From TBN To Blip.tv
Ambarish Kenghe, Google TV developer product manager, said the company has been "overwhelmed" by interest from partners on how they can use the Google TV platform to personalize, monetize and distribute their content in new ways.
Google's initial partner list includes Turner Broadcasting (which includes TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim), NBC Universal, HBO and the NBA. Google signed on Amazon Video on Demand and Netflix. Kenghe said Google is also working with news sites like The New York Times and USA Today; music sites like VEVO, Pandora and Napster; Twitter; blip.tv; and, of course, Google-owned YouTube.
So far Google's partners do not include major television networks. But Kenghe promised this is just the beginning and hinted that Google will make additional announcements in the weeks ahead.
"We're really excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the platform and can't wait for it to reach your living room," Kenghe said. "Devices powered by Google TV will launch this month, so look out for more information in the next few weeks from Sony on its Internet TV and Blu-ray player, and Logitech on its companion box."
Google's Core Strength
With consumers spending more time watching videos on devices other than televisions -- but with web videos still lacking the user-friendly features TV offers -- Google smells opportunity.
Google Chrome is Google TV's secret sauce. With the browser built into the TV experience, viewers can move between television and the web at will. That opens up the TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels across both television and the web. As Leigh noted, Google is also leveraging its search prowess in the new product.
"Consumers will discover that they can watch just about anything they want to watch on the Internet," Leigh said. "I've been an advocate for some time that consumers are simply going to connect their TVs up their computer and accomplish the same thing. What's different here is that Google TV will integrate both search of TV programming and the Internet. The search function may well turn out to be the most popular feature of Google TV."