In “Google: YouTube won’t cannibalize TV,” last month, I cited Google’s top South East Asia exec, Richard Kimber, attempting to assuage Australian media fears of Google encroachment on their business, particularly those of the television industry, following its absorption of YouTube:
We don't see it as cannibalising the TV, but more as an adjunct to it…
The media lends itself to short bursts of content, so rather than being a full TV channel it generally will be used for teasers. Typically, people are watching shorter clips and then they will still go to TV to watch the full show.
We're seeing that in the US, with shows like the David Letterman Show using it as a way of promoting activity on the TV channel.
I asked, however, “Should South East Asia television take Kimber at his word?”:
After all, Schmidt believes Google should be “using our advertising system, our targetability, for every form of advertising (such as TV advertising, see “"Google CEO wants $74 billion TV ad market").
Australian TV ought to heed my warning; Google took its first direct aim at TV advertising today, overseas, announcing a sweeping multi-year, video, communications, search and advertising strategic alliance with British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), as I report in “Google: The TV Sky’s the limit?”
Google CEO Eric Schmidt, as usual, is not underestimating the long-term significance of the multi-platform deal with BSkyB:
If we can get this structure right over the next few months and it rolls out, then it becomes the index case for every other country and every other operator.
As I outline in “Google: The TV Sky’s the limit?” the alliance starts with a straight-forward technology and search deal, with Google powering 1) a User Generated Video multi-platform portal for BSkyB, 2) a “communications platform” (customized email, instant messaging, calendaring…) for BSkyB broadband customers and 3) search and search advertising for BSkyB online.
True to Google’s worldwide technology and advertising domination form, however, much more is in the works:
The two companies will also explore future forms of Web, TV and mobile advertising.
As I announced in August (see “Google CEO wants $74 billion TV ad market”), Schmidt is anxious to deliver “targeted measurable television ads.”
What future forms of “TV advertising” is Schmidt discussing with BSkyB CEO James Murdoch?
Sky Television launched in 1989 in the UK, a “direct-to-home service via the Astra satellite, with a four channel network.” Milestones since, according to BSkyB:
1990: Sky reaches one million UK homes. Sky Movies launches the first UK encrypted channel. British Satellite Broadcasting (BSB) launches; Sky and BSB merge to form British Sky Broadcasting.
1993: Sky Multi-Channels launch with a package of 14 channels at basic subscription level.
1994: Sky Sports 2 launches. A further four channels launch, including Sky Travel and Sky Soap. Sky announces £13 million investment in British films including a major output deal with British Screen. 17% of BSkyB is floated in a global offering on the UK and US Stock Exchanges.
1995: A further six channels launch, including The Disney Channel and The History Channel. The number of subscribers exceeds five million.
1996: Sky pioneers domestic Pay-Per-View with Bruno's defence of the World Heavyweight Championship. Satellite and cable achieve a 10.8% share of the total UK viewing audience, surpassing BBC2 and Channel 4 for the first time.
1999: BSkyB enters the list of the world's top 250 companies. Satellite and cable television channels now account for more than 15% of total UK viewing. Free Sky boxes and minidishes help Sky digital become the fastest growing digital platform in Europe acquiring over 1.2 million subscribers in just 10 months. Sky launches interactive TV.
2000: Sky shows its first national interactive advertisement. Sky digital has 3 million subscribers.
2001: BSkyB reaches its target of 5 million subscribers and switches off its analogue signal. Sky introduces Sky+, a fully integrated digital video recorder.
2002: Sky digital now reaches 5.7 million households - a quarter of all British homes. For the first time, more people are watching multichannel television than the five traditional public service channels.
2003: Sky reaches its target of 7 million customers.
2005: Sky hits its best share of viewing yet, with 9.6% of all UK TV households in the week ending 2 January 2005. The first part of the Sky HD channel line up is announced. Sky+ is in over one million homes. By the end of the year it's 8.1 million Sky subscribers and growing. Sky and Vodafone UK link up to launch Sky Mobile TV. 8.1 million Sky subscribers.
TODAY: More than 8 million customers - equivalent to almost one in three households in the UK and Ireland - watch movies, news, entertainment and sports channels and interactive services on Sky digital, the first digital pay-TV service in UK and Ireland.Over 1.5 million customers use Sky+ digital video recorder. In May, Sky launched high definition television service, Sky HD.
Sky content viewable on PCs and mobile phones; Acquisition of the broadband networking company Easynet and launch of Sky Broadband in July, broadband internet access for Sky customers.
BSkyB acquired a 18% stake in ITV plc.
TOMORROW: Enhanced and monetized by Google:
Sky aims to ensure that its broadband customers enjoy the best possible onliine user experience with customized access to the full benefits of Google's evolving suite of innovative products for PC, TV and mobile.