Today plans for a next-generation Android TV device (or Google TV device, depending on future branding) was revealed in a leak. The leak suggested that the dongle would address the missing piece of Google’s smart TV lineup – the tiny, easy-to-use smart TV dongle that sells in massive amounts with Amazon and Roku, the “stick”. Google already has a sort of dongle device in the Google Chromecast – but it’s just not the same as the Fire TV stick – and not nearly as simple to understand right out the gate.
Per a report on Protocol, Google’s next device would put more emphasis on individual TV shows and movies, rather than channels or apps. This would be a big change in the way smart TV systems work – and it might be a big mistake. If individual programs are the only focus, streaming service might be pushed to the back.
But if Google sets the biggest programs up front WITH the branding of the streaming services, they might have a winner on their hands. Imagine a smart TV system where the user has their favorite TV shows and movies all in a row up top, followed by streaming services below. Each individual program would potentially (simply) be a link to the program’s streaming page inside its associated streaming service app.
The difference on Google’s end would be small – they’d still get the percentages of the service fees each user pays to services like Netflix and Hulu. The brands themselves, however, might benefit greatly. Instead of the individual brand having just the one big icon on the home screen of the smart TV, they could command the entire screen with programs (like they would inside their app).
Brands like Netflix, with a multitude of programs unique to their service, could easily swallow the screen. Disney+ would be another brand that’d easily command the entirety of one’s own Google TV device home screen. Streaming services that haven’t invested in unique programming might well suffer in a big way.
We do not yet know when this next-generation device – or device collection, from 3rd-party brands – will be revealed or released. Cross your fingers for a reveal as soon as possible, though – if you’re the sort of person that wants Google to take as much advantage of the quarantine world in which we currently live. The time for streaming services is right now!