Klopfenstein Opinion on Yahoo and TiVo

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as (c) 2005, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein.

First, the news behind the news: whenever two companies announce a new partnership, it has little if any meaning for ("correlation with") whether the joint venture will succeed at some point in the future or not. I wrote an article about this in the Journal of Anecdotal Evidence in 1985. In addition, a big company with lots of cash buying a smaller company also means little (think Microsoft and WebTV). So the announcement itself to me serves only one purpose in terms of its affect on the marketplace: it will have Google and the cable/satellite companies put their talks, if any, on a faster track. For what it's worth, I emailed Google a couple of years back about any interest they might have in coming out with a product that would compete with the most annoying information source on television today: the TV Guide ("What, you really wanted to see what's on tonight by looking at our incredibly slow crawl?") channel. The "Google" brand on a TV program guide sounded to me (still does) like a real winner. (Bruce Klopfenstein, ©, 2003).

The Googling of television is predictable and will fundamentally change the way we use television. Television of the future will remind us of these current "good old days" of finding items (no longer just web sites) as we begin to seek TV shows by title or subject, with original production dates becoming less and less important.. (Bruce Klopfenstein, ©, 2005) Yeah, I know, the industry and my academic colleagues are definitely getting a clue on this now. Ev Rogers pointed out (1986) how academic study lags behind new media innovation, which is why I'm excited about my UGA students creating some simple iTV simulations this fall.

Just as MSNBC has clarifies when it reports on how well GE is doing, it has the obligation to mention that MSNBC is owned by GE. Thus, I will disclose that I am, as a consumer, a cheerleader for TiVo and sold quite a few in my participant observation days last year at a large electronics retail chain store. I personally (not speaking as an academic researcher here) really hope TiVo survives and thrives. Having said that, I have to look hard to see why the potential adopter (the consumer) will care whether the Yahoo! logo shows up on the TiVo screen.


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