Music coming to Google TV

Vevo, Pandora, and Napster will be available on the forthcoming TV-connected gadgets from Google.

I'm not convinced Google TV will be any different from the many other failed attempts to bridge the Internet and television--WebTV and its various Microsoft offshoots, AOLTV, and the first iteration of Apple TV all come to mind. (Although the new Apple TV might be at the right price point to make a go of it.)

Google's emphasis on apps might sway some skeptics, but for the masses, it really comes down to entertainment content. Before I'll pay for some mysterious box that attaches to my TV--much less buy a brand new Internet TV--it needs to deliver some sort of fun or distraction that I can't easily get from my existing set-up.

Vevo Google TV interface
Because you just couldn't live without NKOTB videos on demand, could you? Vevo

Google knows this, and today's Google TV announcement was focused on content partners like Netflix, HBO, and Amazon Video on Demand. But given the focus of this blog, I was more interested in the music-related partners. A selection of Vevo music videos was to be expected, given Google's critical YouTube distribution relationship with the company, but it's still a cool idea, like a custom on-demand MTV from the old days. The growing legions of Pandora fans will also be in luck, as the user-customizable radio service will be accessible directly on the Google TV box, and Napster subscribers will also be able to get their fix.

Will any of this make a difference? I doubt it--until Google comes up with a better pitch than "search on your TV" and gets way more on-demand video content, this will remain a toy for the cutting edge. Perhaps once Google gets a third-party app store up and running, it might be worth a second look.

Correction, 9:45 a.m. Oct. 5: This post mischaracterized Google's relationship with Vevo. Google is a distribution partner. The company's investors include Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and the Abu Dhabi Media Group.

About the author

    Matt Rosoff is an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, where he covers Microsoft's consumer products and corporate news. He's written about the technology industry since 1995, and reviewed the first Rio MP3 player for CNET.com in 1998. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network. Disclosure. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattrosoff.

     

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