Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The medium is the message: Google Fiber is primarily an advertising platform

Lest anyone forget that notwithstanding Google's construction of proprietary closed access fiber to the premise networks in a few metro areas of the United States, Google's core business is and remains advertising. FTTP is simply a better way to put ads on more screens and in front of more eyeballs, albeit an expensive one -- hence the limited deployment of Google Fiber.

And what better way than the leading advertising medium: high (and super high) definition TV. Over the next few weeks, Google Fiber will test targeted TV ads over its Kansas City build. The ads will run during existing ad breaks, along with national ads, on live TV and DVR-recorded programs and will be matched to the viewer based on geography, the type of program being shown or viewing history, according to a March 20 post by Google Fiber. Subscribers will be able to opt out of seeing ads based on viewing history, according to the post.

In addition to generating advertising revenue, the TV ads will also help offset operating costs, particularly the rising costs of TV programming. Google recently increased the monthly price of its TV and Internet bundle to $130 a month, according to a report in the Kansas City Star.

Advertising on large screen devices is critical to Google's business according to this analysis which notes online stores that advertise via Google are not optimized for small smartphone displays.

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