The Currituck Visitors Bureau has successfully used Google TV Ads to double their online conversions and attract new customers by advertising to their target demographic. The Bureau, which seeks to bring tourists to Currituck, North Carolina, ran Google TV Ads on shows that were largely viewed by their target demographic of women aged 25-55.
Streaming capable set-top boxes are growing in popularity and, according to ABI Research, Google holds the key to making them mainstream. Shipments of devices like Google TV, Apple TV, and Roku are poised to hit 57 million by 2017. However, with the increasing popularity of low-cost Android mobile devices oversees, this number could dramatically increase.
“Google has a split personality in this market. On the one hand, China, in particular, is seeing growing interest in “generic” Android based set-top boxes and USB (or MHL) dongles/stick devices. On the other hand, it is launching its second generation of Google TV platforms (including the well-priced and impressively spec’ed Vizio Co-Star) where it tries to bring more content relationships and a better ecosystem,” says Sam Rosen, practice director of TV & video at ABI Research.
Here’s some potentially good news for Google TV fans: Google just bought Motorola-Mobile for $12.5 billion. Why is this good news for your beloved Google TV? Well, its because there’s a good chance that this could mean ever bigger, better upgrades, larger distribution, and eventually the attention and success the Google TV deserves.
Motorola is one of the largest vendors of set-top cable boxes, DVR’s and IPTV’s, and a major distributor to cable companies that lease their products to customers: owning Motorola means that Google suddenly has a potential distribution strategy. The potential for better hardware, better software integration, and more hardware options all presented to a larger market has huge implications. Granted, just because the Google TV might finally get its chance to shine doesn’t mean it will. Keep checking in to see if the Google-Motorola buy-out is just the thing the Google TV needs.
On Friday we covered a story that Logitech had asked their manufacturer to halt production on the Revue pending a Google TV software update by Google. It turns out that this was incorrect, as evidenced by an official statement made by Logitech earlier today on their blog. Logitech’s VP and General Manager, Ashish Arora, had the following to say:
But I can’t ignore the recent puzzling speculation that Google has asked Logitech to suspend production of Logitech Revue to address software issues….Logitech and Google continue to have a collaborative, effective working relationship as we listen to consumer feedback and work together on enhancements to the Google TV platform. We at Logitech are enthusiastic about Google TV and our role in bringing this new platform to U.S. consumers.
We’re very pleased to hear this, and although things are still looking rather bleak for the platform, it’s nice to know that Logitech is still fully committed.
In light of the FCC ruling on net neutrality earlier this week, we revisited the ongoing saga that is the Comcast-NBC merger and what it may mean for Google TV. Part of the original conditions proposed by the FCC is that if the merger is to take place, Comcast would have to make Internet content more available. Well, the FCC has formally announced the rules they are imposing, and it looks like that little clause is still in there.
Per the rules by the FCC, Comcast would have to make any NBC content available to competitors, which includes Internet streaming, “at reasonable, nondiscriminatory terms.” Comcast will also be unable to give their streams a priority over others or to interfere with rival Internet traffic. The verbiage is still a touch vague, so we will have to wait until the deal goes through to fully understand the implications. It seems like the day is drawing near, so stay tuned.
Update: 12/27 – Logitech has issued a statement denying this story.
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Google TV… Reports are coming in that Logitech has asked Gigabyte, the company that manufacturers the Revue hardware, to hold off on further production until Google comes up with a major software update or total revamping. The halt is slated to only last until after January, but this could be extended indefinitely depending on how long the software update takes Google.
About a month ago we brought up the ongoing saga that is the merger between Comcast and NBC, and whether or not the recently imposed FCC net neutrality rules would force the new joint venture to unblock Google TV devices from accessing NBC’s web content. According to The New York Times, approval talks are now delaying the merger until sometime in early 2011, leaving us to wonder what the final outcome will be.
Part of the terms and conditions of the merger are that the FCC will require Comcast to make Internet content more available, which could extend to Google TV devices. Comcast and NBC have been battling this issue for months, stating that the FCC has been vague about what constitutes an Internet company. Given the fact that the full outcome of yesterday’s ruling have yet to be revealed to the public, something tells me we wont have an answer until the merger actually happens and a formal announcement is made. We’ll be watching this one closely, so stay tuned.
In case you missed it yesterday, Google dropped a bit of a bomb by asking manufacturers to delay all future Google TV devices until they have a chance to make improvements to the software. The news certainly came as a surprise, and has left many people questioning the future of the platform.
In the midst of all this news, Intel may now be quietly trying to distance themselves from the Google TV brand, despite being the company that provides the chips that power all of the current Google TV devices. The photo above is of an ad that was spotted in a NYC subway station, and while it advertises Smart TV, there is no mention of Google TV whatsoever. There is also the Boxee logo next to the giant text, but the ad seems to primarily be plugging Smart TV rather than Boxee itself.
Despite today’s very unexpected and grim news that Google has asked manufacturers to delay the release of any future Google TV hardware until the software can be tweaked, Sony is saying that they are committed to the platform going forward. Even with the recent setbacks, Sony is going to stand by Google and is optimistic about future updates. “It might take a little longer for users to really start having fun [with Google TVs]” said Sony’s TV business Hiroshi Yoshioka when asked about the recent bad press.
Since its US release in October, Google TV has been largely plagued by bad reviews, and with Logitech, Sony, and Google withholding sales figures, we are left wondering exactly how many units have been pushed. Obviously we have a vested interest in Google TV’s success, but I also remain optimistic about the platform and we will continue to bring you the latest and greatest in Google TV news.
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