To misquote the old joke, Question: where does Googorola; the 800lb offspring of the Google buy of Motorola, sit in the media platform ecosystem? Answer: Anywhere it damn well pleases!
Funny? Not really. True? Not really, but maybe a bit.
Google has swept all before it in search, online advertising and now mobile, with Android already outstripping Apple’s iOS. The acquisition of Motorola Mobility brings it a very large share of the handset market and a giant share of mobile-related patents – Moto did, after all, invent the mobile phone.
What it also brings is the world’s second biggest STB maker, and this must be significant for Google TV – the one thing Google has tried and failed at. Indeed, Larry Page, Google CEO, has already talked of an enhanced TV offering based on Moto’s expertise in the STB and IPTV infrastructure areas.
Motorola Mobility’s CEO Sanjay Jha said: “We have a very close relationship with carriers in the home space. As we know there’s been a secular transition from [traditional] set top boxes to those in the IP world. I think in addition to that, we’re seeing great convergence between the mobile world and content from the set-top box – working with carriers we can accelerate convergence and delight customers.”
It is unclear whether merely having Moto on board will convince content owners they should play ball with Google – their deep suspicion of the search giant’s regard (or lack of it) for rights has been the rock on which its TV ambitions have founded. But what if Google by-passes channels and purchases some compelling sport or live entertainment rights of its own? Then heavily markets the service for home and mobile with hardware on sale in all mobile phone shops? Googorola could become as disruptive as its name suggests.