Guest post: Why Google TV Could Destroy Nielsen’s Data

It’s my pleasure to welcome Daniel Cawrey for this guest post on Data Mining Research. He has written an interesting post about Google TV and the data mining possibilities. I hope you will enjoy it.

There has been a lot of hype surrounding Google TV since it was announced at a developer symposium in May. At the keynote speech of the Google I/O conference, there were a lot of whiz-bang features that were shown off, and it’s hard  to get your head around everything that this technology will do when launched on DISH Network this fall.

While you can watch a short clip here about how it’s all going to work, think about the data mining perspective:  Google is going to be reaping huge amounts of data that have been locked away from them until now.

Since Google is chiefly an advertising company — over ninety-five percent of their revenue is from online ads — it’s a logical step for the company to want to be in the television business. Google has experimented with the ability for  advertisers to show commercials on television using an interface that’s similar to their online ad platform, but a big  problem with this initiative has been the lack of viewer metrics, which are closely guarded by cable companies and networks.

With Google TV’s set-top box, that’s no longer going to be an issue. Google will now have data on searches for popular shows that are both on television and on video sites like YouTube and Hulu. They will know where you live, what you like to watch, how long you watch any show, and even which commercials you like.

In essence, not only will Google be blurring the line between television and online video, they will be able to closely watch what makes people tick while they are watching their television. Using the Android operating system with the Chrome browser on top of that, Google will have a sophisticated system that is networked and can not only track what you like to watch, but also your viewing behaviors, perhaps the most valuable data of all.

Google has said that its television project has been in the works for over three years. They know what a massive undertaking this is, and how much it will change the way that content providers and advertisers serve their markets, and a big part of that will be the data flowing from each Google TV box hooked up to a television.

And here is a thought: what is Nielsen going to do about this? Their standard of measuring television metrics could soon be obsolete with Google’s presence. Comment below and let us know what you think: do Google and their ability to parse through huge amounts of data represent a goliath-like entrance into the TV space?

Daniel Cawrey is a freelance writer. In addition to blogging about Google on his site thechromesource, he also writes on technology topics such as network monitoring.


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