Around the Net

Does Google TV U-Turn Mean It's Done?

Though it's too early to count Google out of the Web TV race (right?), the search giant has reportedly shifted its Google TV initiative to YouTube.

"Industry observers speculated that the move was a response to recent negative reaction to the new Internet television service among major media companies, but it appears the change happened several weeks earlier," reports the San Francisco Chronicle -- which broke the news.

Always up for a scandal, Business Insider asks, "if Google's move is a sign that it's already giving up on Google TV" -- and then suggests as much. "No disrespect to YouTube, but if Google really thought it was going to rewrite the TV industry, it seems that it would not be trusting a big software and business development effort to its web video site."

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Still, some see the move as a purely practical one for Google.

According to CrunchGear, "It will give Google TV, thus far plagued with refusals by many content providers to allow streaming over the device, a bit more leverage with stations and studios."

"The clear goal here is to use YouTube's might [to] encourage full-length video and clips to flow from YouTube proper to Google TV-enabled devices," CrunchGear reasons. "In our own tests Google TV is actually fairly painful and barren without external content and Hulu compatibility has, thus far, been an important part of almost any streaming device."

As The Chronicle notes, YouTube recently underwent a realignment, including the creation of a group focused on partnerships with content creators. Also, Dean Gilbert, who previously worked on Google TV, was brought in as vice president of content partnerships.

Ultimately, it's now up to Salar Kamangar, co-head of YouTube, to make Google TV a success. Kamangar, who famously led the team that created AdWords, was given the reins last year to turn YouTube into a profitable enterprise.

Read the whole story at San Francisco Chronicle et al »

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