October 13, 2005 2:13 PM PDT
Is AOL in play?
- Related Stories
AOL-MSN alliance talks resume, says articleOctober 7, 2005
Google to bid on AOL?September 19, 2005
Google second-quarter profit jumps on ad growthJuly 21, 2005
AOL expands Google search pactOctober 7, 2003
Overture bows to Google in AOL dealMay 1, 2002
Putting a price tag on AOL Time WarnerDecember 14, 2000
(continued from previous page)
viewers to watch what they want when they want, while integrating Web-based content into their TV viewing.
Comcast and other cable companies are already reacting to the changes. Comcast has begun assembling a large library of on-demand programs and movies, and offers more on-demand content than any other provider to date. This includes 250 free movies, 500 music videos and 300 shows for children. The company plans to increase this library to 10,000, from 3,500 today.
"The biggest fear of cable operators like Comcast is simply becoming the provider of big dumb pipes," said Jim Penhune, an analyst with Strategy Analytics. "Comcast in particular has been struggling to build its portal business to give customers another reason to choose their service over a competitor's."
The addition of more content to the Comcast lineup means that the company will need better search tools to allow customers to find the programs they want to see. This is where Google could help. Google has already developed search technology that could be used to improve these interfaces. And as Comcast's programming becomes more interactive, it will need to integrate its Web content with the television service. A stake in AOL could help the company develop more Web-based synergies with the TV part of the business.
"Building a better search tool or integrating Web content into television are all things Comcast will have to do," Penhune said. "But it will be technically challenging for the company to do it all internally. That's why partnerships could have some advantages."
1 commentJoin the conversation! Add your comment