I think everyone can agree that Google’s long term goal is to change the way advertising is done. From how it’s created and marketed to how it’s received. We can all now assume that their AdSense and AdWords program is going to be integrated into their Android OS in the end. So while everyone is looking left and talking about ‘Android capable phones’ and ‘OHA devices’, AndroidGuys is already looking right and seeing the bigger picture. Folks, it is now safe to start thinking about terms like ‘AndroidTV’, ‘Android capable televisions’, ‘GoogleTV’ and ‘Android DVR’. Why? Because it only makes sense.
Google will try to reach out to us and place targeted ads in front of us wherever they expect us to be looking. People are spending more time watching TiVo and DVR programs and not as much watching live television. If a business can advertise on a website using AdWords and AdSense, why couldn’t they do the same on specific channels of television? Let’s imagine a scenario here. You’re in a fantasy football league and are following your players as closely as possible. Why shouldn’t you be able to watch a pre-recorded program on your TiVo and still have a widget display your players’ performances at the bottom of the screen? Why can’t you have stock tickers scroll across your television letting you know how well your blue chip is performing while watching last night’s Law & Order?
Today, the boxes you are getting from your cable or satellite TV provider are essentially computers. They are preloaded with a few limited API’s like a menu setup, a program guide, the DVR, and a few customer service feature, like account information. Not a whole to go on is it? Or is it? If we can cram an open source operating system onto a mobile device, what kind of potential exists for a set-top box? We can already hook up to our networks wirelessly, so why can’t someone write a program that allows for some of the things mentioned above? There are already scores of “roll your own” DVR interfaces.
Imagine the possibilities. Watching baseball live with weather and Twitter updates scrolling across the screen. How about an announcement when someone leaves you a message on Facebook or MySpace? Wouldn’t it be nice to see it instantly? How about a notification popping up when your eBay auction ends? Or a widget tracking certain items you are interested in? What about neat little messages that tell you when a buddy has signed on? We can already see when someone calls us by ways of Caller ID showing up on TV. It’s only logical to make these next steps. Once we’re there, Google can then begin to help advertisers market specific products or services based on the channels being watched or programs being downloaded.
As our broadband speeds increase, we can have instant access to things we never thought possible. How long do you think it will be before we the ads showing up while watching TV feel like they are really targeted to you and your family? It’s not that far off to think that you will be able to click on that ad for an Old Navy sweater that displays discreetly below your reruns of Gilmore Girls. Google believes that it can attract more ad dollars from smaller businesses that are not currently advertising on TV. So, if Pizza Hut runs a commercial or places an ad, why can’t it give you the local phone number and promo code? If Pizza Hut was smart, they would track responses and tailor ad campaigns based on results.
Two months ago, everyone Google was developing its own mobile phone. Wrong. They are already looking past that. Google’s $10 million prize was not to build the best mobile application. It’s for building the best applications, period. Google’s Android technology is just the open source platform needed to bring the developers together to design the way people stay in touch. Google is not trying to come out with the iPhone killer. They have their sites on much bigger things. Oh yeah, that guy behind Android? Andy Rubin? Well he was involved in this company a few years back called WebTV. For those out there who greeted the Android announcement with a yawn, or expected this to fail based on Rubin’s previous ventures, it’s okay. It’s not too late to change your opinion.
The AndroidGuys will forgive you.