TV to the Googleth Power

Last week, Microsoft came to town, proclaiming the virtues of a TV ecosystem ruled by Xboxes and gestures.

Today, it was Microsoft’s turn, as Google  TV product lead Rishi Chandra extolled its newly released product, which he predicts will help extend todays hundreds of  TV channels to millions.

A world where 1% of the channels now account for more than 50% of the viewing “has completely changed how television is monetized,” he told attendees at Streaming Media West in Los Angeles.

Well, not quite so fast. First he has to demonstrate to balky Hollywood types that he has a product worth supporting. And judging by the reaction of the three big broadcast networks — which blocked Google’s access to their Hulu service last month — has a lot of demonstrating left to do.

Hollywood is rightly terrified that an Internet-enabled TV will allow users to do exactly what they’re already doing on the Web: steal their shows, movies and music. And so far, Google hasn’t presented an alternative attractive enough to convince them otherwise.

Google, clearly, will benefit from its move to the small screen. By extending its search engine to tens of millions more consumers, it will increase the value of its brand, irregardless of whether content is legitimate or pirated.

So, while Hollywood’s obstructive actions have caused howls of outrage in Silicon Valley, Google won’t get far its TV ambitions with the studios until it persuades them they can do what Google already does in spades: make money.

About Michael Stroud

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