Will Google use Chromecast to put banner ads on your TV?

8 Comments

The home screen of Google’s new Chromecast device may not stay this serene forever: Code snippets discovered by independent Chromecast developer Leon Nicholls reveal that Google (S GOOG) is considering to add rotating banner ads to the screen that currently just displays dreamy photos of coastlines, mountains and the occasional butterfly.

Buried on hundreds of lines of Javascript, Nicholls found some pretty clear evidence for banner ads on that screen:

chromecast banner ads

The code included dozens of additional lines related to the display of banner ads, including some hardcoded Urls for sample banners. However, these images don’t actually load, resulting in 404 errors instead. (The home screen image above was mocked up by Nicholls to show how these ads could theoretically look like.)

I asked Google for a comment about their plans for this, but haven’t heard back.

There are a few things worth noting here: First, we can’t necessarily conclude that this will ever see the light of day. Secondly, plenty of other connected devices contain banner ads of some kind. Roku devices for example use these kinds of banners to advertise channels available on Roku.

And that last point is likely key to the question of how people are going to perceive this, if Google decided to go forward with this and actually put banners on the Chromecast home screen. Banners that tell people of new capabilities — which is what we are hearing might have been behind this — may actually be welcome by Chromecast users. Animated Gifs advertising the latest soft drinks on the other hand may lead to a very different reaction.

Updated at 2:37pm. An earlier version of this post mistakenly stated that the banner ads were marked as a prototype. Updated again at 9:48pm with additional details.

8 Comments

Don Draper

If you are able to compile a list of everything a chromecast is streaming, you can probably pass along very targeted ads in between streams — of course there will be ads at some point, and they will make Google money. Remember, Google services may delight you, but the quid pro quo is that you are the product sold to advertisors. You will get ads based on what you do while using Google services.

jcaulfield

Better than Chromecast is Miracast TV — HD Wireless, which doesn’t limit the content you display like Chromecast does, and a new $39 Miracast HD Wireless adapter became available this week and offers a lot more features and works much more like Apple’s $100 + Airplay Wireless display technology —

One of the first to carry this new device is Tablet Sprint– worth checking out for this alone; and for Android tablets, including a new series of tablets that launch next week that offer some great features and outprice the new Nexus…worth reviewing–

jcaulfield

Much better than Chromecast is Miracast TV — HD Wireless, which doesn’t limit the content you display like Chromecast does, and a new $39 Miracast HD Wireless adapter became available this week and offers a lot more features and works much more like Apple’s $100+ Airplay Wireless display technology–

One of the first to carry this new device is TabletSprint– worth checking out for this alone… and for Android tablets, including a new series of tablets that launch next week that offer some great features and outprice the new Nexus… worth reviewing–

jcaulfield

Much better than Chromecast is Miracast TV — HD Wireless, which doesn’t limit the content you display like Chromecast does, and a new $39 Miracast HD Wireless adapter became available this week and offers a lot more features and works much more like Apple’s $100+ Airplay Wireless display technology…

One of the first to carry this new device is TabletSprint– worth checking out for this alone… and for Android tablets, including a new series of tablets that launch next week that offer some great features and outprice the new Nexus… worth reviewing…

Al

If it’s like the ad-supported kindle (i.e. ads when you aren’t really using the screen, almost like a screensaver), I’m not completely against it, as long as it’s tasteful and not TOO much based on my search history (can’t imagine I want those things showing up in my living room!)

Wyatt Barnett

Learn how to read javascript — that isn’t declaring a prototype in the flying tank sense but the prototypical BannerAd “class” for the script.

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