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Google Chromecast Shakes Things Up, Streams Web Content to the TV via Mobile

by Joe Murphy Librarian on July 25th, 2013

Google’s Chromecast streams web content to the TV via a flash drive like dongle controlled by mobile devices, and it is bigger content news then Google renting/selling textbooks that was reported yesterday.

This is the biggest content news this week, the biggest in a while actually, because it is Google’s entre into the ongoing shake up of a big media landscape, it embraces major content trends of streaming, mobile centricity, and web content, and it may be the first successful mainstream disruption of the TV as web platform market.

Google Chromecast streams content from web/app content including YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, Google Play, Google Music, and vast online content via Google’s Chrome browser (think Hulu and HBO Go). This content source list promises more to come with the release of a developers’ kit that will bring in more third party content partners.  

This web content streaming to TV HDMI accessory accesses A/V apps on Android or iOS devices as well as laptops and can be controlled from the originating content app (mobile as content originator and remote control).

It requires a Wifi network, maintains multitasking on your mobile device, and has a very low price point of $35 (includes an offer of a few free months of a Netflix subscription in a natural content partnership). It is marketed as having no learning curve (I still struggle with old school TV when Amazon Prime or Netflix isn’t available) and may represent a similar space as Apple’s AirPlay while it has been called Google’s answer to the Apple TV.

Remember Google Chromecast can stream nearly any web content to televisions: library content to library patrons’ living rooms. It’s not just a new marketplace for Google. This also means it is an easy scalable solution for digital displays within libraries.

Analysis and Impact:

  • Important to libraries? … Only to librarians curious about the major moves in content.
  • The addresses the evasive living room and its full size television in the social content age
  • It is all cloud. As in cloud only, not cloud friendly. Content in the cloud, device free, has been a major shift for the last few years. Not only is content made available in the cloud, it is accessed and engaged there.
  • Brings lone consumption on our device to social group watching
  • We know a lot of mobile viewing happened in the home anyways; this brings it back into the still unconquered living room.
  • It may signal a viable symbolic partnership of big media and mobile devices
  • The mega content trend of streaming: Chromecast uses it and twists he model a bit
  • Lots of room for the 2nd screen since allows for multitasking
  • It is an accessory, not a new platform, nor a new device, an add on to our current devices. It thus embraces society as it is.
  • Enabling content from the entire web via the Chrome browser recognizes the rich source of content that is the internet and is a significant shift from one off ideas of single method for single content streams.
  • This puts the internet in front of more eyeballs: advertising, education, digital access gaps addressed.
  • This is Google expanding into more and more environments: think cars, wearable tech, computers, phones, screens, blimps, etc.
  • Uses the devices we already own, in our world
  • Content partnership Netflix shows the influence of both parties.
  • Related content news – The unveiled Nexus 7 supports multi profile on single device (shared subscription models is a trend pushing across content and service areas, think Netflix shared accounts).
  • Small dongle size means does not disrupt your device set up
  • It is device agnostic
  • Content progress synch of course
  • Developers kit released – api
  • Inversion of streaming model – gives mobile devices a TV
  • In the past you had a remote control to find in order to engage content, now the phone in your hand is already the remote as well as your media interactive point.
  • Mobile is the new norm. It is learning curve free because it uses the smart mobile device you are already familiar with and doesn’t require us to learn a new remote control. Assumed mobile ready audience.
  • It is mobile friendly first. A twist a mobile first has proven itself and mobile second or mobile adaptive often struggles for relevancy.
  • Web first. Embraces concept that content is produced for the web and the web is not an afterthought.

I look forward to watching what the reviews have to say about impact on content consumption.



Joe Murphy, Librarian

From → news, technology

One Comment
  1. Joe Murphy Librarian permalink

    Looks HBO Go is not actually available on Chromecast yet, but might be coming soon. Vimeo and Redbox already on the way.
    http://gigaom.com/2013/07/29/chromecast-vimeo-redbox-instant-plex/

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