Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Canoe Ventures Dropping Interactive Ads Business

As the content community embraces the cloud and Cisco plans to sell its S-A set top box business, Canoe Ventures has announced that it is giving up on EBIF. "The decision to abandon ITV ads and dramatically pare back Canoe's mission came after a review by its cable operator owners, according to a Canoe spokeswoman." The push for better connectivity to the web, more cloud based operations, including N-DVR and VOD, and perhaps even Comcast's push into a rival Netflix streaming business, all demonstrate that the set top box is history.

Also too, advertisers didn't find much interest in overlays that intruded on top of video commercials. With the primary goal to click a button for more information, the boxes looked intrusive and the clicks weren't coming. And advertisers and viewers weren't embracing the added value feature either. So what is next for Canoe? "Canoe's more narrow goal, at this point, will be to build a way for MSOs and national programmers to generate revenue from dynamically inserting ads into on-demand content across both VOD inside the home and TV Everywhere outside the home." But with other companies, like Seachange and others, already in this space, can Canoe re-model and survive? It just doesn't look promising.

Google vs Apple Heads To The TV Set

When Apple was younger and the PC was the big push, the biggest competitor to Apple was Microsoft. Today, that fight has taken a back seat as Apple has extended itself more firmly into mobile devices and soon the TV set. And perhaps their biggest competitor is not Microsoft, or even Amazon or B&N, but Google.

And Google is adding another line in the sand verse Apple, Voice controlled connected television. "In what could be the biggest boost to couch potatoes since the remote control, Google Inc. is developing a technology that would allow a viewer to tell a TV, by voice, to change the channel or even seek out a favorite show or movie."

Google is aggressively competing with Apple in the software side of the business, a strategy used by Microsoft in the PC wars. But Google is going a step further when it buys manufacturing companies like Motorola to build out Google products. How this affects Google's licensing with other brands remains to be seen. Companies don't like to have competition from their own supplier. Still Google continues to advance while Apple follows its own path. How fierce the competition between these two grows remains to be seen. But with Google testing a pay subscription service in Kansas City, no doubt they are declaring war in the video space.