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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Techcrunch recently featured an article that mentions the test Google has been running on a limited scale with Google Fiber.  The first time I read about Google entry into the cable market, I got a knot in my stomach.  Personally it's a little too "big brother" for me, but the fact that they are able to transmit data almost 100 times faster than what we have now was pretty exciting to say the least.  Now the coverage has moved from speed and clarity to programming.

The most recent article from Techcrunch says, "When Google first announced the details of its Kansas City fiber rollout, one of the knocks against it was that its channel lineup was a little thin. While it had struck deals to bring video subscribers more than 116 channels, at the time of its announcement, it was missing some notable channels — stuff like ESPN, Disney, AMC, TBS, TNT, and HBO.

Today, Google announced it has also added content from Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting. The Turner deal will provide channels like Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, HLN, hTV, infinito, TBS, TCM: Turner Classic Movies, TNT, and truTV. That brings Google almost on the same playing field with other distributors.  Currently Google is charging one hundred and twenty bucks a month for TV and 1Gbps broadband which is inline with other offerings."

This shift, in my opinion means a couple of things.  The first is that the fiber itself, and the fact that you'll be able to stream shows, movies, data, etc. extremely fast is no longer the marketing objective.  Rather, Google is going after a greater share of eyeballs offline.  Think about it.  If they have your attention for advertising online and offline, they not only generate billions more, but they own the consumer.

I don't know about you but this type of strategy makes me uncomfortable.  Knowing that data and other types of zeros and ones can be transmitted faster and in greater quantity is enough for impatient individuals like myself.  However, taking a greater share of my time - at work or play - is purely one sided.

If Google wants to own more of my time, they need to provide something of value.  Will they learn my viewing habits and skip commercials?  I think not.  Unfortunately its still all about the advertising.  What do you think?  Will marketing change based on this type of enhancement or are we just seeing more of the same?


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