Is there anywhere that Google is not disintermediating?

Media Mavens: Robert Kyncl, Google – Tasked With Leading Search Giant’s Charge Into Content-Based Platform Wars, Veteran Exec Is Ready for Battle


When Google appointed a head of TV and film last year, it was a sign that changes were afoot. If Google is to compete in the platform wars, be it YouTube on TV screens or Android on tablets and phones, it will need content, and that’s where former Netflix exec Robert Kyncl comes in.

Robert Kyncl, Google
Robert Kyncl, Google 

Mr. Kyncl’s first big project is one he’s not talking about; indeed it’s one that Google itself has yet to acknowledge. That’s the $100 million effort to seed curated “channels” on YouTube that will have TV-like appeal to viewers and to advertisers.

While this is still a big secret in Mountain View, it’s an open secret in Hollywood, where it’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t had at least exploratory talks with Mr. Kyncl and his team.

The big difference between this effort to bring professional-grade entertainment to YouTube and prior efforts is that production companies, studios and startups are actually clamoring to be among the anointed few to go into business with YouTube, not just for the startup funds (YouTube is expecting a return on those) but for the chance to help YouTube invent the linear TV network of the future.

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Here we find differentiation at its finest. 

As reported in the HITWISE statistics below from week ending 10/15, consumers have already wed themselves to both Google and YouTube for a significant amount of their day.  

Add to that a significant boost in the caliber of the already popular YouTube site, with all of the built in intelligence that brings to Google. 

Then add the convenience of mobile, notepad devices and soon to be pervasive hybrid Google TVs (based on Android operating system), and Google has the makings of a huge, very profitable hit that will likely leave a huge dent on traditional broadcast media.

I of course am hoping that their channel lineup includes a 24/7 wine channel, weaving in lifestyle, food and travel for good measure!  Can you say

Stay tuned.

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