Saturday, March 24, 2007

TV Guide develops an "Internet Guide"... kind of...

Data aggregation is tough not because getting the stuff is the problem, rather weeding through it is. So, if you have a brand that is well known as a kind of trusted data aggregator, then you have a head start as more and more of us get our entertainment over the net, or at least that's the way TV Guide sees it
TV Guide, which has helped viewers navigate through thousands of TV shows for 53 years, now wants to do the same for Internet video. Gemstar-TV Guide International Inc. will launch a test version next month of an online video search tool that allows viewers to find clips and full episodes of TV shows now being posted on the Web. A formal launch is planned for September.

The tool will not try to aggregate the thousands of user-generated videos featuring pet tricks, skits and other antics being posted on sites such as YouTube and Revver.

Instead, it will scour about 60 Web sites from major networks such as ABC and Fox and other video portals such as AOL and Google to find network and original programming produced by major media companies.

"Everybody says, 'Who's going to be the TV Guide of online video?' and we say, why shouldn't it be us?" said Richard Cusick, senior vice president of digital media at Gemstar-TV Guide. "We're making a bet, but we think it's a safe bet and consistent with our mission."

So, using its brand power as a trusted source, TV Guide will work to maintain it's "trusted source" status by only giving us "corporate media"? Or is this simply another sign about how what was once old will work to maintain it's dominance? Who knows? All I know is that as broadband penetration grows (right now it is around 20% or US HH), I can see how there will be more and more of a market for this kind of limited-but trusted service.

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