After revolutionising the way people access information, Google now wants to transform how people get entertainment. As I posted back in March, Google aim to do this via an innovation called Google TV. Google TV would conjoin the internet with traditional television enabling viewers to watch TV shows and movies unshackled from the broadcast networks or cable channels on which they air. Earlier this week the LA Times published an article discussing the technology. Perhaps most notably, the article highlights a distinct lack of preparedness on the behalf of Hollywood and the broadcast networks to accept the new technology. In fact, rather than vieing Google TV as an opportunity, many view it as a threat and, as a result, the industry is jittery:
The prospect of Google getting into television frightens many in Hollywood, who worry that Silicon Valley will upend the entertainment industry just like the Internet ravaged the music and newspaper industries.
By bringing the Web directly to the living room TV, entertainment industry executives fear Google TV will encourage consumers to ditch their $70 monthly cable and satellite subscriptions in favor of watching video free via the Internet.
Others believe it will fan piracy because Google refuses to block access to bootleg movies and television shows.
Personally, I think Hollywood and the broadcast industry need to take a long hard look at the music industry and consider it a cautionary tale of what not to do when technology moves into the space of traditional entertainment delivery. As Tom Cruise said in Collateral, “Improvise. Adapt to the environment. Darwin. ‘Shit happens.’ The I Ching.. whatever. Roll with it…”
Now, please excuse me. I need to go watch some free video on the internet.