Google Focuses Efforts To Compete With Roku, Amazon

If you were thinking Google would be just shrugging its shoulders about entering the video streaming distribution business that Roku and Amazon dominate, you would be wrong.

During the recent Consumer Electronics Show event, TCL, the Chinese company making TCL-branded TV sets, said it will now be selling 10 million smart TV sets a year, powered by Google TV or its sister Android TV service.

That’s a big deal.

The first Android TV models were sold in the market starting June 2020. The Google TV powered TV sets did not.

Google has said there are 80 million devices worldwide that use Android TV or Google TV. Just in the U.S? We don’t have specific data yet. Shalina Govil-Pai, vice president of Android TV and Google TV, has reportedly said Google would be more aggressive in this area.



Google TV would go up against what Roku and Amazon have compiled in the video streaming world as distributors — with over 50 million monthly active users each -- just in the U.S.

Still, the TCL deal could be important, especially if TCL can keep its goal of selling 10 million sets a year.

True, Google has toyed around in many media businesses -- with lots of mediocre or poor results. (Social media platform, Google+, of special note). Yet, the massive internet-based media company still has plenty of financial resources to right some wrongs.

That said, Google continues to be a major factor in the video world continent -- as YouTube occupies a significant place in terms of overall U.S. streaming usage, just second to Netflix.

And, just to make matters interesting, if not more complicated, TCL also sells a Roku-branded TCL TV sets, TCL Roku TV, a deal the streaming set-top box distributor inked in 2015 which incorporates Roku’s smart TV interface. (Amazon also launched its own branded smart TV sets late last year.)

We don’t have updated information about how many Roku-branded TCL sets have been sold. However, we understand from repeated Roku earnings releases how important streaming TV advertising revenues, of all types, are important to its future. Amazon's, too.

Growing advertising revenues -- of all types, especially video -- is also a big target for Google. So, go figure.

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