Analysts weigh in on GoogleTV

May 24, 2010: 10:25 AM ET

The new service offered by Google starting this Fall obviously won't have immediate affect on its bottom line but long term implications may be significant.

Image Credit: Seth Weintraub

Analysts chimed in on Google's TV ambitions with mostly positive remarks on the new service.

Morgan Stanley's (MS) Justin Post and Joyce Tran saw many significant long term upsides to the move, but pegged pricing (at or near AppleTV's $200) as being the biggest factor to adoption.

  • Android adoption
  • More use of Internet, YouTube, and Google search
  • Ability to serve ads in apps used on TV
  • Share of revenues from any paid apps purchases made through apps
  • First mover status

But they note that there are significant hurdles to overcome.  As there were no cable companies at the event [Besides Dish satellite] they see resistance from the field.  Also, there has been consumer resistance to a full keyboard remote, though the ability to control the TV with Android and other new devices like Logitech's Dinovo Mini keyboard may change that.

Morgan Stanley remains bullish on Google (GOOG) with a price target of $685:

While investors would like to see more margin leverage in the model, we think Google's investment initiatives are key for maintaining consumer mind share and long-term growth. The Android market is quite robust, and strong adoption statistics plus Apple's apps success are the first evidence (after several failures) that Google's non-search investment can build a mass-market platform with real monetization capabilities. We maintain BUY rating on Google, although we don't expect material changes to estimates from GTV.

Meanwhile Susquehanna Financial Group's Marianne Wolk issued a statement saying that Google's TV play could capture part of the ~$70 billion television advertising market.
Positive factors include:
  • Wide array of content streams including full cable and Internet functionality.
  • YouTube's "Leanback" feature which allows a more TV like browsing experience.
  • Partnerships: Best Buy for distribution, Sony, Logitech hardware and Dish cable
  • Aggressive pricing which will compete with AppleTV (AAPL) and Xbox ($200-300) on the high end and Roku and Seagate offerings ($80-$130) on the low end.
  • Search interface is a compelling new paradigm for TV.
  • Google brings together everything including Flash interface, games, apps,

Wolk sees the following challenges:

  • DVR has only seen 33% adoption rates suggesting that cable customers aren't likely to want upgrades
  • Earlier WebTV offerings haven't seen success (Windows Media Center, AppleTV, WebTV, etc)
  • Hardware purchase may impede adoption
  • Longer load times and weaker resolution of web-based video could deter usage rates by consumers accustomed to the immediate access and high performance of television/cable viewing.
  • Google I/O demo was full of glitches.  It isn't certain if Google has mastered the user interface.
She sees a much larger GOOG price target of $755.00.
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About This Author
Seth Weintraub
Seth Weintraub

Google went from searching the Web to worming its way into nearly every facet of business and government. Seth Weintraub unveils where the company is going, who it's competing with, who it's about to compete with and how market forces push the company to veer or adhere to its Don't Be Evil motto. For 15 years, Weintraub was a global IT director for a number of companies before becoming a blogger.

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