Cringely, WSJ on Google’s TV Ad and Download Plans

Bob Cringely (Mark Stephens) isn’t always right, but he’s almost always provocative. He’s got a rant up about Google video that’s worth a read. Excerpt:

Google is an advertising company…How often do you see an ad on TV for something you’re currently in the market for? I’m guessing almost never. But imagine if everyone watching “American Idol” only saw ads for things they might really buy? Or, better yet, only saw ads for things they had already expressed an interest in? The value of those same 30-second commercial slots would increase by orders of magnitude. Google imagines a world where only single people see match.com ads, and people who can’t drive see ads from taxi companies where others see Toyota campaigns…What would be the value of that increased efficiency, capitalized into present dollars? …

It’s a funny thing how predictions are often so all or nothing. It wasn’t so long ago that time shifting would allow everyone to filter ads completely out of their environment.

The WSJ is reporting that Google will roll out a video downloading service similar to iTunes.

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Online Video and the Future of Broadcasting