Google has just announced late last week the launch of streaming TV and movies on their Google TV product in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.
Google, like Apple and Microsoft, has its eyes set on the ‘other screen’, as the TV is called these days, since people spend more time on their computers and phones than glued to the telly. Google TV has been around in France for two months, sold exclusively in a single €200 product made by Sony, but was not a runaway hit. It only allowed you to use their apps and games, as well as stream the media from your computer, but you couldn’t buy and stream TV series and movies yet.
Microsoft XBox and Apple TV have a considerable head start offering not only computing-type entertainment on the TV, such as apps and games, but also the more traditional media – TV shows and movies. In the United States, consuming media this way is already very mainstream, but in Europe we usually still trek out to our corner brick-and-mortar store for an old-fashioned DVD.
Why was the Google TV offer in France so basic?
It tends to take some time for companies like Google who have to go out and make deals with the media companies in each country that they want to offer streaming services in, one-by-one, instead of making global deals with these (often) global media producers. To make matters even more un-intuitive, French Android users using their phones and tablets could already buy movies, TV shows, as well as music, but they simply couldn’t consume it yet on Google TV. This, also, is a consequence of the old-fashioned way the media industry still operates.
Now that Google has made that deal, it’s ready to roll out its media offering through the Android Play Store, making it available starting Tuesday November 13th, which is also the launch of their Apple-beating hardware duo, the Nexus 4 phone, and the Nexus 10 tablet.