Google TV is currently incomplete as a media hub, with Netflix deciding to pull the plug on integration in 2020. But according to a Google TV executive, there’s still some hope of things changing in the future.
The director of product management at Google TV, Rob Caruso, gave out an interview to Protocol (via 9to5Google), briefly touching on the situation between the two companies. It’s worth noting that Caruso is a former Netflix executive. However, he couldn’t say why the Google TV and Netflix deal fell through.
“I hope we’ll see some welcome improvements and innovations in the coming months with not just Netflix, but with many partners. You can’t force anyone’s hand, but the hope is that as we provide features for our users [and] partners, that they all see value, and then it’s a flywheel,” Caruso said.
Caruso hinted at enhanced fitness and smart home integration with Google TV
The executive also detailed what’s in store for Google TV in the future. Expectedly, the platform has ambitions to integrate deeply with smart home systems. “Fitness is another big area of exploration,” Caruso was quoted as saying. In this context, fitness may refer to integrating Fitbit or Google Fit into Google TV. However, this could also include third-party fitness services.
Given the times we live in, Google understands the importance of integrating video conferencing capabilities with the living room experience. After bringing Google Duo to Android TV a couple of years ago, there’s now renewed interest in bringing the Zoom app as well.
Additionally, Google TV is also looking to expand the free live TV channels integration, which was first set up in partnership with Viacom’s Pluto TV a month ago. “We want these TVs to wow you right out of the box,” Caruso said about the free live TV channels. The idea here is that consumers can enjoy content even if they don’t have any subscriptions.
Caruso came short of providing a precise timeline for the rollout of these features. But he indicated that some of them may appear this year. “All of those areas are things that we’re looking at, that we’re exploring, and hopefully bringing out at some point later this year.”
Given its stature in the entertainment industry, Netflix is a big miss for Google TV. Here’s hoping that the two parties sort out their differences and give the consumers what they want.