Search engine and all-round tech giant Google could be set to launch an internet television streaming service, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The service would mean that paying customers would be able to view live TV broadcasts over their internet connection. Intel and Apple have also been rumoured to be working on similar services, so this new announcement could put the three companies in direct competition – as well as from traditional TV broadcasters like Comcast.
Google has already had some experience with television; it created its Google TV service back in 2010. The service had some initial problems with struggling to get licensing from broadcast network, and it flopped hard. It could also be argued that the world in 2010 simply wasn’t ready to switch from their traditional way of viewing TV.
Now, the way that people consume broadcast is changing. A survey recently found that over five million homes in the US have switched from the outdated cable television to online streaming services. Google’s new service may just come at the right time to take advantage of the changing market. They just need to make sure they can finalise any licensing issues with broadcast networks, so that the service will actually be able to work.
However, it may be that customers just don’t want a repackaged version of cable, so to speak. Services like Netflix mean that users are increasingly less bound by TV scheduling, and can access their programmes on-demand.
Whether Google’s internet television service sinks or floats is difficult to tell yet, and the talks seem to be in relatively early stages. It could definitely offer those with Google tablets and smartphones a new way to view television on their devices. We’ll have to wait for more info before we make a judgement.