Following reports on Gigoam and elsewhere that local file playback could be making its way to Google Chromecast very soon, there are more signs that Chromecast, the pink elephant sat patiently and quietly in the living room, is starting to swish its tail.
As such, IP&TV News thought it an opportune time to make contact with Faisal Ghaus, Vice President, TechNavio Research, to discuss Chromecast – and the effect it may have on the market in the coming months and years.
“The simple fact that the dongle priced at US$35 is an indication that the company is not looking at a profit in terms of hardware sales,” said Faisal, after concurring that (of course) Google’s authorship was in itself a reason for the industry to sit up and pay attention. “Looking at the charges for content, the initial findings are that there isn’t that much of a variation between those on the Chromecast and other content providers – which again means that the company isn’t looking at a cascading profit by charging more for their services. Not surprisingly, what the company is looking at is an opportunity to cover the entire market, and have a mass user base – just as it has had with Chrome and Android.”
Looking forward, I asked Faisal what kind impact he expected Chromecast could have on pay-TV in general?
“Google Chromecast will certainly pose a threat to the pay-TV industry and create a high degree of competition in terms of a price war,” he asserted. “The Chromecast is Google’s answer to the Apple TV. The Apple TV is priced at around US$95 which is more than double the cost of the Chromecast.” Aesthetically, he added, Google’s ergonomic and inconspicuous dongle also wins hands down.
What about the implications for OTT more generally?
“The Chromecast will now compete with IPTV as well as with OTT STBs. A question on everyone’s mind is will anyone still use IPTV and OTT STBs in the future? As of now, it’s still too early to say whether OTT STBs will be wiped out eventually. What needs to be looked at is whether the Chromecast will enjoy as much coverage as OTT STBs do now.”
The success of Chromecast, he stressed, will depend on its content partnerships: “Chromecast was launched in the US back in July 2013; however, it is still yet to reach the UK (where it is expected to be launched just before Christmas). One of the apparent reasons for the delay is that Google was still in talks with content providers in the country. Similarly, it will take time for Google to increase its global coverage and hence it depends on the costing within specific regions and countries.”