When Google TV was first announced, I wrote that it “might be one of the most important things the company has attempted.” If successful, Google would do nothing less than realize the dream of television-web convergence.
But I also noted that execution was key, and there was no shortage of skeptics who questioned whether Google would be able to put it all together.
Thus far, however, Google seems to be making good progress. Yesterday, it launched a website for Google TV and announced a number of high-profile content partners, including Turner Broadcasting, NBC Universal, HBO, The National Basketball Association, Amazon.com, Netflix, Twitter and Pandora.
If Google TV is to succeed, it must provide a compelling experience, and Google hopes that Google TV’s partners will be able to deliver the content necessary to create such an experience. HBO, for instance, will be distributing its programming via Google TV, and even plans to offer authenticated HBO subscribers an on-demand offering. The National Basketball Association is serving up a Google TV app that offers real-time scoring and league highlights. And with Amazon Video On Demand and Netflix, streaming movies and TV shows will be a click away.
In addition to content offerings designed specifically for Google TV, Google has published information enabling publishers to optimize their content for Google TV. Publishers who have been working with Google to optimize their content include The New York Times and USA Today.
Content may be king, but technology innovation will also be important if Google is going to redefine the television viewing experience. And it looks like Google has cooked up some pretty cool features, including the ability to interact with Google TV through your phone.
None of this, of course, guarantees that Google TV will be successful. The timing seems right for television-web convergence, but it’s hard to predict whether there will be widespread demand for Google TV. Google also has to compete with Apple, which has brought Apple TV back from the dead, as well as upstarts like Roku and Boxee. The good news is that with the Googles and Apples of the world focusing on connecting the television to the internet, we may finally learn whether or not television-web convergence is meant to be.
Photo credit: dailyinvention via Flickr.