Yesterday I posted some thoughts on the Google-Verizon framework, offering what turns out to be a pretty widespread sensibility, at least in the punditocracy, that this whole thing feels off, not like Google, counter to the brand.
There had to be another reason Google would do this, something super important that forced its hand, something so crucial to its own perceived future that it would be willing to upset its core brand advocates.
But what? I wrote: "it gives me the sense that the two parties are colluding in some way, creating and/or obscuring potential loopholes which will allow side deals in other parts of their business."
I then suggested this had to do with Android. And perhaps it does.
But a very well placed source just sent me a thoughtful note, and it immediately stuck a nerve. Perhaps this has not to do with Android as much as it does the future of television.
Google TV, according to those that see it, is very very powerful stuff, and a major weapon on Google's war with Apple (not to mention Microsoft and others). It's streaming, interactive HD with the web folded into it (and it's based on Android). And to work, it will need a fast lane on the ol' info superhighway. A really fast lane. And perhaps, preferential treatment to boot.
Might Google petition that Google TV is an "Additional Online Service" outside the protected net neutrality framework it's developing with Verizon? Such a service sure would drive subscriptions for Verizon and customers and advertisers for Google.
Hmmm. I think I'll ask.
Earlier this year, during a digital strategy meeting I was having with a TV general manager, I was sharing some my perspective on the changing local advertising landscape. I always tread lightly during those meetings but this GM said something that stuck with me. He pointed to a TV monitor in his office and said, "yeah, some things are changing, but that ain't goin' away." I shook my head in agreement and kept my thoughts to myself. Perhaps I was being a coward, but I choose to pick my battles, particularly with senior managers. Here's what I was thinking: Yeah, that ain't goin' away, it's YOUR version of THAT facing challenges.
Today I come across two articles that added to my need for Pepto Bismal. Earlier today I posted about estimates by eMarketer that Facebook is reeling in $500m annually in self-served local ads. Now this article about Google TV come across my path. I have no idea if Google TV will be more hyperbole than reality (remember AppleTV?) But here's what is clear: There are many powerful, well-funded companies taking aim at TV as we understand it today. These companies have no tie or connection to the terrestrial-based, ad-supported legacy delivery system we understand today. The attacks are on two critical fronts: Local ad revenue and delivery. I'm hoping that GM allows me to help him battle.