GOOG and IPTV

January 10, 2008

Google announced that it is tying up with Matsushita to launch Internet TV. While this had immediate pop out effect on Matsushita’s shares, GOOG did not show the same effect. Perhaps because of market conditions that day, in addition to the fact that this may not have significant and immediate revenue impact for Google.
However, in the medium term, I see this as a tipping point for you tube. Google proactively bundling some of their more TV-friendly offerings (aka video and photos) with TV makers out there is a smart move that will sit well with the natural upsurge in interest in viewing online video content on TVs. One can only speculate on the ad revenue implications for you tube once this convergence gathers steam.

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Hot off the press:

Google has just announced “Universal Search” (Sergi Brin was in attendance), a moniker for an effort to integrati several channels into the Google search results: Google local, videos, images, books etc. This is bringing together several parts that seemed apparently disparate until now (You Tube, Publishing project, Google Local etc.).

To make this happen, Google has implemented a new scoring algorithm that will be able to compare information from different media (comparing Apples and Oranges as they put it). An example would be whether to rank a video of Martin Luther King higher than an text article about him. Youtube and Google videos will be integrated into the search. The vidoes will be embedded in the search page and the user can view the video without leaving the page. In the initial phase, they will also be pulling in videos from select video sites like Metacafe. This will be a thumbnail that will direct the user to the third-party video site.

Clearly, this will increase the time spent/user on the Google.com site. It’s as if the search results page is becoming a content page to some degree.This may have interesting Advertising implications and may open the door for Google to experiment with display ads on the search page.

Google will also start offering experimental search pieces at www.google.com/experimental
Users will be able to sign up to integrate these experimental features into the search results they see on their screen.

The Google stock is already showing a spike today. It almost seems like Google timed the announcement to prop up the sagging stock price (the YTD growth has been under 2% for 2007).

May 10, 2007

Google has started showing some sponsored search ads at the bottom of the page i.e. below the organic search results. Here is a screenshot –

Google Double Click

April 18, 2007

Microsoft and AT&T claim that the Doubleclick acquisition by Google violates Anti-trust provisions. As is apparent, this is quite ironic coming from players who themselves have a long anti-trust legacy.

I had pointed out a few months ago that Google could become dominant enough to attract attention in this vein. Here is the post.

Google is taking over your desktop. Probably not surprising, given the fact that it appears to be part of their strategy for couple of years now. Increasingly, Google is rolling out services that require a single Google log in and password.

Take orkut for example.
http://www.orkut.com/

Orkut has gained wide popularity among users in Brazil and India. It seems like Google is finally being proactive about making changes in the application that make life easier for the users. Of course, they have started putting ads on Orkut, which is great from advertiser perspective. If you are an advertiser looking to target the Indian or Brazilian Diaspora, Orkut would be a great addition into your content targeting portfolio. A more significant change from a user perspective is that users now can reply to a scrap they have received right from their scrapbook. Earlier, users would need to actually navigate to their friends scrapbook to write their entry.

Google spreadsheets and MS word – like applications hosted on the web is taking a shot at Microsoft’s core desktop applications market. With the acquisition of jotspot.com, Google has acquired some good technology that should help it to stay ahead of other rivals in this space. These applications are again enticing the user to move away from the client to the server for creating and storing documents. Microsoft is sure to be affected by this general trend.

We have not heard much about the Gdrive lately. Gdrive is apparently an tool that is Google is experimenting with internally for document and storage and retrieval on the web. So, just as with Google Spreadsheets, you could retrieve your documents from anyplace, as far as you have an Internet connection.

Other examples of Google slipping into the desktop could be Google calendar, Gmail and Google Pack. The pop up announcing the arrival of new Gmail is as obtrusive as that from MS outlook.
The Google pack is a bunch of applications that are installed and updated automatically on a regular basis. This will definitely help Google stake their ground and enable them to continue pushing new applications through this.

Google Acquires YouTube

October 9, 2006

Its official. Google has acquired Youtube in a $1.65 billion stock-for-stock deal. The company had a analyst call today at 1.30pm PST. The webcast is available at http://investor.google.com/webcast.html

It will be interesting to watch how Google Video and YouTube will be integrated. This acquisition also means that Google will possibly increase its emphasis on Video ads by pitching it more to advertisers. They will have 4 times more inventory than before (based on Google and YouTube market share).

Google and YouTube

October 9, 2006

With the impending $1.6 billion acquisition of YouTube, Google is set to become the biggest behemoth in the online video space. TechCrunch and NY Times has reported that the deal may be announced tonite. Google video now has a 10% share while YouTube has a 46% share. If the deal goes through, Google will have a 56% share of the online video market. Should this not raise potetial anti-trust concerns?
Reed Hundt, the ex-chairman of the FCC, gave a talk in the bay area last week where he mentioned that goverment is following an unstated and implicit policy of allowing large merger deals (the likes of AT&T and SBC) to go through. In this environment, I would not be surprised if Google will grow to be as big and dominant in a few years as Microsoft used to be.