Google Takes the Ring: Putting Video Monitoring Services and TV Guide on the Ropes

If you’re a public relations firm leader who spends time getting reporters to write about television programs so that viewers will tune in, this news about how technology is changing the way people decide what to watch may be of interest.

Google’s announcement that they’ll add TV closed captioning to the list of searchable sources could threaten media monitoring services that earn a portion of their revenue by tracking closed captioning and issuing news coverage reports to their clients.

Until now, most public relations professionals have relied almost exclusively on electronic media clipping services to find and deliver relevant news coverage.

While the clipping services still provide a valuable service delivering local broadcast news to clients outside a station's reach, charging a fee for reporting could be on its way out.

But perhaps even more interesting is that the ability to search the world of television programming based on spoken words could dramatically alter how we decide which television shows to watch and how much of a particular television show to watch.

Who needs a television programming guide when you can monitor the real thing?

Could you imagine if Google did a deal with TiVO and/or cable TV providers to allow people to search and monitor the world broadcast and cable talk shows and news based on transcripts so that we could record individual segments (instead of entire programs) based on what’s said on the airways? I definitely can.

The Google announcement appears to have prompted Yahoo! to say that they’ll be adding similar functionality to their TV Eyes service, which I have been using for years, but without much success.

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