Author Archives: Kristen Nicole

Google TV has been unveiled this week at the Google I/O Conference, and it’s a doozy. It looks to combine your web, mobile and television experience, bringing pieces of the web to you, on-demand. Not only is it a new way to consume and experience your media, but it’s a new way to receive your search information.

One of Google’s biggest changes with Google TV is the way in which it delivers search results, linking back to several of its own apps and third party apps that run on its platform. It’s quite convenient, and it’s a major perk for consumers that will consider hopping on the Google TV bandwagon once the product line is released this fall.

It’s also great for marketers, as it restructures the opportunities for reaching consumers, particularly as location and personalized data can be incorporated into apps that operate based on your needs. Google has effectively created a system that’s layered over the web, with a pretty Google skin on it. It’s attractive, it’s convenient, and it may be the only format to successfully bring us the media and web experience we’ve sought for the past decade or so.

But at what cost? In an era where Facebook is dealing with high scrutiny from the media and regulatory groups regarding its privacy methods, Google’s own attempt at re-structuring our experience with the web may have its own long-term issues. While Facebook added instant personalization options for website owners and users to better interact with each other, Google is gearing up to launch an interconnected system that is already personalized.

In Google’s ability to provide such a robust offering through Google TV, Android 2.2, Chrome and all its other associated portals, the company is able to deliver better search results that aim to provide instant and direct answers. It does so by linking many of the access points its created, around you and others. Though this is certainly the way of the future, it also encourages the system to revolve around Google’s platform.

In the long run, this could create some issues for Google as it looks to maintain consumer privacy. Google already experienced the wrath of consumers when it launched Buzz, immediately updating the Twitter-like app to include more privacy options. And Google’s process for collecting the data that’s re-purposed and delivered back to consumers according to their needs is also in question, with German officials demanding answers and control over such data and its use.

While we still have a few months to ponder at the ultimate significance of Google TV, it’s clear that Google has the ability to change media consumption and the advertising methods around it. Google changed the web once, and it’s looking to do it again. As long as it continues to win the battle of compromising a bit of user privacy for the greater good, Google will continue to be a powerful force in our lives.

Non-US iPad users have gotten access to their iTunes App Stores a week early, giving them a peek at what to expect from the iPad apps selection, reports PCWorld. Limited to certain countries, Apple has revealed the iPad App Stores earlier than expected, for those that purchased their iPad through third party services, such as eBay or Craigslist.

While the iPads themselves won’t be officially available in these countries until later this month, those that were too anxious to wait for their nearby Apple stores to sell the popular tablet can now get a better idea of what to expect from their iPad App Store. In some ways, it’s a little surprise. In other ways, it’s a disheartening realization of Apple’s ongoing global fragmenting.

Those non-US iPad users will lose their already purchased apps if they sync with their country-specific iPad App Store, and certain US-specific apps won’t work at all. And the iPad book store won’t be available for non-US users for some time. While there’s sure to be a way around losing all one’s apps, it’s a roundabout process with an equally roundabout solution.

Part of the problem, if you want to look at it that way, is the instant success of the iPad device. With US sales of the tablet exceeding 1 million units in its first month, Apple had to delay the iPad’s release elsewhere in the world. That has prompted some to purchase their iPads on the “grey” market, leaving them in an operational limbo for actually utilizing their new devices.

It seems like a silly problem to have, but it very much indicates the ways in which the world has not shrunk. In many ways, global distribution of a product isn’t as easy as making it available in stores. A certain attention to each localized market is necessary, in addition to the other factors to consider for a worldwide marketing and sales campaign.

A good problem to have, sure. But failing to improve the process overall could open up the doors for Google and other companies, particularly as the mobile industry looks to expand at a quickening pace. While Apple’s control makes it slower to move, it also restricts consumers at multiple points of access, which can be wholly regulated by their location alone.

And the US isn’t immune to this process–AT&T is still the only company that is legally allowed to power the iPhone’s network, despite growing consumer demand and the availability of other phones through multiple carriers. Already Google has looked to break such a cycle, though its Nexus One initiative was somehow lost in the loftiness of such a goal. But Google isn’t one to back down, and neither is Apple. That leaves us still wondering how and when Apple will make its products more universally friendly, in the literal sense.

Yahoo has announced its plans to purchase Associated Content, with hopes to boost its content creation, reports BusinessWeek. Ultimately this may be a good move for Yahoo, particularly as it looks to expand on its portal, content delivery and the generation of revenue around these mechanisms. As much trouble as Yahoo has faced over the past few years, it’s ability to deliver content and create a relatively easy way to communicate around that content has remained intact.

Looking to revive interest in advertisers, Yahoo’s upcoming acquisition of Associated Content means that the web company will be able to better target readers with personalized content recommendations combined with custom delivery methods. It’s a great bundle for advertisements to be wrapped in, especially as Yahoo and other portal systems look to increase the ways in which they reach out to consumers.

The growing interest in personalized web information is partly due to the growing mobile industry, which has re-purposed much of the web for better use while on the go. This is wonderful for marketers, as it enables better targeting for ads. As an extension of what Yahoo has already been doing on the web and mobile fronts for years now, anything added to the process will be a perk that both Yahoo and Associated Content can take advantage of.

Which is where the Associated Content’s format comes into play. As a large freelance community, Associated Content represents a new business format for creating, sharing and distributing content across web channels. A concept that has been slowly gaining traction and integration points with traditional news delivery methods can now be leverage for Yahoo’s purposes.

From advertising to increased content available on its site, there is a great deal that Yahoo can do in order to make good use of its latest addition to its family. As Yahoo still struggles to regain top spots for search and advertising, the buying of Associated Content will help the company better compete with AOL and Demand Media, both of which are vying for similar positions when it comes to making the most of an existing web portal service.

Amazon has announced plans to launch Kindle for Android, expanding on its mobile presence and increasing the number of ways in which you can access your Amazon books. The app will work on Android OS 1.6 or better, and require an SD card.

The move isn’t surprising, given Amazon’s early support of the Android platform. Even before the breakthrough Motorola Droid helped to push Android to the forefront of mobile conversation, Amazon’s store came pre-loaded on many devices, with a later mp3 store helping Google better compete against Apple’s iPhone with iTunes Store access.

Perhaps the more surprising aspect of Amazon’s Kindle release for Android is the fact that it took so long. While Amazon has found several ways to avert Apple’s top-down approach to controlling its devices and their content, it was still necessary for Amazon to appeal to iPhone users. Hence, the Amazon Kindle app for iPhone, amongst other initiatives to own an access point on the iPhone.

And while we’ll see a similar tit-for-tat proceed between Amazon and Apple over the iPad, we’re also seeing Amazon branch further away from this device-specific approach to the Kindle. Amazon on Android devices could take the company in an entirely different direction than it would have been able to go, had it stuck with just an iPhone app.

Google’s Android platform is moving beyond mobile devices to television set top boxes, among other things. Creating more access points for personal electronic devices and home entertainment means more opportunity for Amazon to sell physical and digital products. This is only the begining for Amazon’s capacity to reach consumers and provide the means by which others can reach consumers as well.

Amazon already has a pretty amazing platform of its own, and building out the access points to the platform means that more sellers and authors will be able to interact with each other. This is the real way in which Amazon can better take advantage of its current position, emphasizing the importance of its focus on its mobile presence.

YouTube has reached 2 billion downloads a day, marking an amazing milestone for the user-generated video sharing site. The announcement from YouTube came as the company was celebrating its fifth birthday, solidifying its position in the recent web revolution.

And the reason for YouTube’s success? Being able to integrate itself with as many aspects of the changing trends for media consumption and sharing. The beauty of the early YouTube was its free video upload and storage, with a widget that can place the clip just about anywhere on the web. Latching onto the widget trend, YouTube helped drive a new concept around media-sharing.

From there, we saw explosive growth, plenty of copycats, and an interest from the mainstream media sector, for better or worse. The acquisition from Google gave YouTube some status, and the ads began to roll in. One way in which those ads will eventually generate revenue is through location-based targeting, which notes the importance of YouTube’s mobile push. You can watch any YouTube clip directly from your phone.

The video-sharing site has also taken to more social features and premium pathways. You can get recommendations based on your viewing patterns and social circle, and you can orient your entire YouTube experience from a social perspective. YouTube has also recognized the benefit of expanding its services, as it moves into generating interest in indie film production, movie rentals, and series archives.

While YouTube may have been able to win big in the popularity contest, its revenue generation still leaves something to be desired. Yet 2010 is expected to be the year for YouTube to reach steady profitability, giving the site another milestone to achieve before we reach December. The future of YouTube will be determined by the company’s ability to monetize the service.

As a widely used Google App, we’re sure to see further integration for platforms like Android, and other Google services. With location-based enhancements being added to mobile apps, we’re also likely to see YouTube develop out this trend. As far as ad revenue is concerned, the mobile industry carries a huge opportunity for Google and its media delivery. With additional personalization, we could also see YouTube create a series of apps (such as a bundle or rental package) that could be purchased across multiple channels (iTunes App Store, Android Market, Facebook, etc.)

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