Google TV is now out of Betaand pulicly accessible.
Although not embraced to the degree they expected during the beta itself (my old agency’s TV buyers scratched their heads at it), this does offer the potential to create a marketplace similar to that of search, although the media dynamics are altogether different and the inventory is currently limited only to DISH. Media marketplaces represent a level of automation that commoditizes certain low value aspects of the buying & selling process that are labor intensive and erodes margins – it’s part of the future. Google TV merely sets a precedent on what is possible – trust me they are not the only ones attempting to create and automate a TV buying marketplace. Agencies have however been watching Google move into areas beyond their home turf, so to speak, and some of getting nervous.
I mentioned previously that in 2007 Martin Sorrell, chairman of WPP has referenced Google when discussing the competitive climate in the industry more often than he publicly discussed other agency holding companies such as Omnicom, or IPG. WPP also acquired or made investments in many media/technology companies in the last year or so, hedging their bets on a potential competitive suite of tools and products? Or simply diversifying a portfolio of complimentary companies to keep a level of spending under the same umbrella? Only time will tell.