Google's Irresistible Potential as an Alternative to Cable

Google is launching some ambitious initiatives, and for the first time in a while, Facebook and Apple aren't in the crosshairs. On Friday, CEO Eric Schmidt will be cozying up to television executives at a conference in Edinburgh, just two days before Google is expected to make a bid to buy Hulu. Combined with hints that the soft launch of the much-anticipated, super fast broadband service Google Fiber is underway, it looks increasingly like Google wants to go head-to-head with your cable company. And with cable companies' consistently low customer satisfaction rate, Google's compelling-sounding offerings should dazzle the market.

The case for Google outcompeting cable companies starts with the content producers. Historically, Google has long been an enemy to broadcasters and movie studios for providing easy access to pirated content. As The Guardian's James Robinson explains, Google "smoothed ruffled feathers" by building advanced anti-pirating tools for YouTube and offering broadcasters a new revenue stream by selling advertisements against videos on the official broadcaster channel page. Schmidt's appeal this week is expected to warm relations further by focusing on how everyone wins with a closer relationship between Google and broadcasters.

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