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Will Google Star on TV?

Posted by: Rob Hof on April 4, 2007

Not according to BWOnline’s story today. I’m uncertain about how much of an impact Google can make in print and radio, but TV? Given the potential (if not yet the reality) of cable settop boxes to identify what individuals are looking at, it seems like TV could actually be Google’s best shot at traditional advertising. Yes, there are privacy concerns, but people have shown a willingness to give up a little privacy—if it even comes to that—in return for a tangible benefit. And not having to watch ads you couldn’t care less about seems pretty tangible to me.

I don’t think Google’s going to storm TV all that quickly. But I wouldn’t bet against its ability to use data, on a medium for which there’s going to be a lot of useful data before long, to steal a march on incumbents.

Reader Comments


April 4, 2007 6:28 PM

It still holds true to "follow the money" in this Internet-driven world that Google increasingly guides.

We, as citizens, probably see only the tip of the iceberg of the way Google can and does use the HUGE tracking and viewing of information/the pattern of its flow. Perhaps Business Week might do an update of your excellent issue on The Power of Us.
Be grateful for "small" things like search engine Clusty's refusal to work with the NSA.
- Kare, LaborFair


April 11, 2007 2:10 AM

I presume many people are like me; no longer paying attention to commercials, instead using that time to scan the digital cable guide, or dish guide to see what else is on during commercial time. Presuming Google can port its successful very successful tracking system over to the televised medium, they may indeed change the very way we watch television or buy things.

Say a child is watching some sort of children's show. That child would see only stores and/or advertisements with products based on that show. Instead of getting up to get a snack or ignore the actual content of the commercial to sing along to the annoyingly catchy tune, the child would see the product of their favorite show and bug Mommy or Daddy to buy them that product at that specific store. This would go the same with adults. Most sports broadcasts already have mainly sports oriented commercials. Google's tracking system, if successfully adapted, would make this a more common occurrence. The impact on the way people buy things would be changed forever.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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