It was a little noticed mention Friday on YouTube’s own official blog. But with a dash of the obvious, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is telling the world of television that it is about to have competition in every way for the hearts and minds of entertainment viewers. There is no attempt to sugarcoat this move with statements about how Google is here to help everyone find what they want. This move puts the company in direct competition with today’s media companies. The message is clear: We have a huge audience, and we are going after every possible minute of their time.
Here are the opening paragraphs of the blog:
“Wonderful things happen when cool technology meets great entertainment. Cable television expanded our viewing possibilities from just a handful of channels to hundreds, and brought us some of the most defining media experiences of the last few decades– think MTV, ESPN and CNN. Today, the web is bringing us entertainment from an even wider range of talented producers, and many of the defining channels of the next generation are being born, and watched, on YouTube.
“Today we’re announcing that even more talented creators and original entertainment will soon join YouTube’s existing channel lineup, including channels created by well-known personalities and content producers from the TV, film, music, news, and sports fields, as well as some of the most innovative up-and-coming media companies in the world and some of YouTube’s own existing partners. These channels will have something for everyone, whether you’re a mom, a comedy fan, a sports nut, a music lover or a pop-culture maven.
“Our goal with this channels expansion, along with the grants and educational programs we’ve launched in the past year, is to bring an even broader range of entertainment to YouTube, giving you more reasons to keep coming back again and again. And for advertisers, these channels will represent a new way to engage and reach their global consumers.”
Google is funding all this new development with at least $100 million in advance payments to content creators. And at the same time the company has announced a new version of Google TV, which hastens the steps toward the holy grail: the single interface that brings you all video programming, no matter where it comes from: the web, cable, over-the-air, Netflix, etc. So when a viewer decides he wants to watch a movie, the same remote control can access that movie from any source. Your choice will be made based on the best deal you get. The end result will be the same… you will see what you want, when you want and where you want, only the price will be cheaper based on new competition between all distributors for the same viewer.
For a sneak peek at the scores of new “programs” that will be coming over the new “Channels” created by Google over over the coming months and years, click here. As more and more television sets are shipped internet-ready, these new channels will have equal and direct access to all consumers-- not only on computers, but on that 60 inch screen in their living rooms. Do you think they will care about exactly where that show is coming from? When you got cable tv for the first time, for those who remember it, how long did you care-- or even realize-- if a show was coming to you from a broadcaster or from a cable-only provider?
Here are just a few of the programs coming from Google:
If you are an entertainment executive at a television media company, be afraid.
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