Google TV Exec: Cord Cutting Is ‘Not Happening’

rishi chandra

It’s a good thing that the Logitech Revue set-top box isn’t an ideal cord-cutting device, since Google TV product lead Rishi Chandra said at today’s NewTeeVee Live conference that he doesn’t believe cord cutting is actually happening. “Our point of view is that cord cutting is not happening,” Chandra said. “We think the cable industry does a pretty good job of delivering content to users…so we don’t think that all of a sudden users are going to shut off all that content.”

Chandra also told the audience that Google TV isn’t meant to replace cable anyway. Instead, Chandra argued that Google TV is meant to make it easier for users to get access to all of the content on the web alongside all of the content that they already watch on TV. To do so, Google TV provides a framework for web and TV search that places linear and on-demand programming alongside web content.

The challenge comes in presenting that content in a way that makes sense. “We don’t think search is the only mechanism to find the content you want,” Chandra said. But, “there needs to be a way to rethink content discovery. The program guide doesn’t work when you move from hundreds of channels to millions of channels.”

Not everyone is thrilled with the fact that Google TV is trying to make web video available on the TV. Since Google TV devices have been launched, a number of broadcasters have acted to block those products from being able to display videos they’ve put online. But Chandra likened the blockade of broadcaster content on Google TV to the introduction of other new technologies in the video space, such as VHS.

“The web is a new technology…and the incumbents in the space are trying to figure out what that technology means for them. We would like to make sure all content on the web today is available on Google TV, but it’s up to content owners to decide how that happens,” Chandra said.

To make that happen, Chandra hopes to convince content owners that they can increase the value of content that appears on Google TV, with better search, deeper interaction, and improved advertising options. “There’s plenty of opportunity…that the web enables,” Chandra said. “Wouldn’t be cool if I’m watching Jim Cramer and he recommends a stock and I can buy the stock on the screen?”

We don’t think so, Rishi, but we’re sure that would appeal to someone.

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