The now-and-forever King of Internet Search, Google, has always had one eye on the television. The company would love to somehow replicate its winning “online” business model in the “offline” world of TV.
While roughly $100 million comes gushing in on a daily basis to the GOOG for (mostly) text ads on it search engine, the company funnels that money into a host of TV- and video-related projects such as:
> Selling ad space on TV shows – a big idea from the mid-2000s, with only DirecTV remaining as a major account, and exploration with DISH on targeting ads via set-top box data
> Funding original content on YouTube – deemed a “success” by the company to date, but what happens when it pulls the punch bowl away from Web programmers?
> Google TV – like a comet that comes around every two years, the current iteration (you can watch the Internet on your TV, whoopee !) promises, well…let’s just say, expect another tweaked comet two years from now
With more money to burn than a hedge fund CEO, Google has undertaken an outrageously expensive experiment in both Kansas Cities (a relief to those of us who can never figure out which is which).
Google Fiber turns Google into a content “pipe,” promising KC citizens unheard of Internet speed for at-home use: a full gigabyte upstream. Sounds great on paper, like every single other Google adventure (see Google Buzz, Google Phone, Google Health, et al.).
But the wheels are already wobbling on Google’s Kansas City (Cities?) Fiber.
Google is pricing 1-gig Fiber at $70 a month. Yes, $70 is a technological steal at one-quarter the speed, but here’s a dirty secret of the ISP industry: FCC surveys show that 80% of users have NO IDEA what their current Internet speed at home is.
So how in f&ck’s sake does a person like that rationalize $70 a month, higher than what they pay now to FiOS, U-verse, or the cable guy? Google is guilty of marketing and selling features over benefits.
Plus, irony of ironies, in a supposed world of supposed cable TV supposed cord-cutters, Google will also bundle its Fiber with TV carriage (hey, why waste all that expensive fiber and construction cost to get it in the ground in the first place?) for a cool $120 per month.
Except, as with Google TV, many major networks aren’t playing. KC viewers will have to do without ESPN, for example.
Residents are voting with their wallets – by keeping them shut. Fewer than 10% on average are “pre-registering” for the service across both KCs.
Is it because Google is asking for a simple and small $10 registration fee?