Will Google be your next Cable TV Company?
Estimated reading time: 18 minute(s)
In no time, IT giants have taken over the mobile industry.
Now they charge for the next big step, our TVs. Microsoft, Google and Apple has a lot going on and foremost cable television companies may find it difficult to compete.
Actually, it’s amazing how good the TV industry has held up. TV is still in the living room and kitchen, and in most cases, the signals get to you in the same way as before.
The most sensational thing that has happened is that many households in recent years also have begun to watch TV via the broadband network. It has in Sweden led to that Telia has about half a million TV customers.
Though just as Freeserve, Teracom / Boxer, Viasat and Canal Digital, Telia engaged principally in selling complete packages with a variety of channels. Then spice up the phone company with additional services.
New players are entering and they take advantage of new technology that allows them to pick up regular television with cell phones and all forms of computer games and other IT services.
Perhaps we are now facing the very same big change in broadcasting as music and mobile industry has already gone through. They have seen how the big IT companies coming in and changing the way the established companies.
Splendid example is Apple with its iPod and iTunes first attacked the music industry in order to pull the legs of the established mobile manufacturers by launching smart phone Iphone. Apple was followed by the search company Google, and with some lag even by Microsoft.
Now addressed the three eyes to the TV industry and given the crucial role that television has in many homes, it is obviously a desirable goal.
IT companies want to take over much of what today’s TV providers stand for, while they want to add more services and linking TVs with other favors which they have already taken command of that cell phones, surf boards and computers.
Consumers will be attracted by their access to the same content everywhere.
-The coming years will be extremely changeable, says Marie Nilsson, president of the Swedish research company Media Vision that constantly follows developments in the television market.
Exactly how that will go is far too early to tell. The big IT companies are preparing themselves for significant investments there yet only some parts are known and where it circulates plenty of rumors.
Microsoft, the world’s largest software company, is one of the companies that made the most. In early December renewed the company such as its Xbox game console to make it more suited to handle television. The company has also signed contracts with a wide range of content providers that makes it possible to deliver TV channels such as MTV and CNN. The agreements cover a number of countries, but above all it is the U.S. market that is in focus.
-We aim to be as complete as possible and have all the TV channels. In the U.S., we are about to become a full-scale television provider, but unfortunately we are a little behind in Sweden and other Nordic countries, said Christopher Björkvall, Communications Manager at Microsoft in Sweden.
He also makes clear that the Xbox is just one of the television paths that Microsoft has embarked on. More and more based on the Web and Microsoft also want to use the standard web technology to distribute television content to a range of devices such as smart phones, surf boards, computers and networked televisions.
-The problem is not technology but it is so incredibly complex to get into all contracts. For a small language area like the Swedish, it takes extra time, says Christopher Björkvall.
The difficulties naturally affects everyone in the industry. Those who produce television shows and other content has lots of rules that affect the forms in which applications may be sent. Only via the terrestrial network, or even in your computer? And how does one ensure that no one from another country can see the program on the rights only to Sweden?
In fact, it is a complicated tangle of various agreements that make it difficult for new entrants and new distribution methods to break through. In this battle trying to companies like Microsoft, Google and Apple take advantage of its size that can make it easier for them to get the contract.
Right now the buzz is also of constant new rumors about what IT giants are up to. Apple has long had its Apple TV, a small box that connects to your regular TV, so that, among other things, see some movies.
But there have been lines of evidence that Apple has more comprehensive plans than that. In the biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs talks about that he finally cracked the problem with television.
There are rumors that Apple is negotiating with the major suppliers of television content and has launched a close cooperation with Sharp, which among other things, is that the Japanese company to produce TV screens for Apple, which goes on sale sometime in 2012.
As a manufacturer would Apple compete with companies like Samsung and LG, but the ambitions teach extend far further towards the delivery of content.
Even on Google circulating the volumes of data. The company owns long video site YouTube and has collaborated with Intel and Sony to develop a television platform based on Android, the operating system from Google that used in many smartphones.
Google is also taking over Motorola Mobility and off the cell phones also manufactures set-top boxes and has patents in broadcasting. In November, also reports that Google is in discussion with content companies as Walt Disney, Time Warner and Discovery to deliver popular TV channels.
In short, it obvious that the three giants are increasing the pressure marked on the television market where they see an attractive niche that complements what they already do and where you can make lots of money on advertising. Whether they succeed or not, their efforts have a major impact on all other companies in the industry.