I was pretty excited when I watched the Google TV announcement last week.
Today I read a couple of commentaries about it and they went on about the features etc. but nobody mentioned the advertising. This surprised me as my initial guess is the reason that Google have entered this market is to gain more surface area for their advertising machine. In my opinion this is great news for all of us.
Everybody complains about the commercial breaks and if you ask someone with a Tivo why they like it they almost always tell you it's because they can fast forward through the commercials. If we don't have commercials then there's not going to be anyone to pay for the movies that we watch. That means smaller budgets for the studios and lower quality for us. We have to have adverts or we will end up moving to a subscription based viewing platform such as Netflix and that might kill off competition for great series and movies and lower the quality as well.
The perfect compromise is show commercials that you want to see. This, I believe, can be achieved with Google TV. By registering yourself and your interests on your device you make it easy for Google (or whatever content provider) to target you with relevant adverts. If I'm in the market to buy a car then I can change my profile settings to reflect that. I can give them my location, price range and model types and dealers in my area can then show ads to me during the breaks. The local dealers aren't going to pay much for that ad space because it will only be delivered to a few people like myself who are in the market for their product. National campaigns probably hit deaf ears 95% of the time. Targeted campaigns should be hitting willing-to-buy consumers 100% of the time. In reality this will of course be lower because there will also be car enthusiasts etc. who will be tuned into that type of ad because of their fanatical nature.
Once you have bought your car and are no longer in the market for one you can change your profile and pick something else that interests you. The question "how do we get consumers to change and/or set their profiles?" then arises. Again, this is easy. Constantly remind them that if they want to see adverts about products that interest them then they should update their profiles.