GBC: Google Broadcasting Co. — World Unicaster

-By Scott Cleland

First there was one-to-many broadcasting, then many-to-many Internet narrowcasting… now it appears we are moving next to a one-to-many GoogleNet unicasting future where every company and individual may simply become a subordinate channel on the Googleopoly advertising network, and where content largely would be found only via Google’s mono-search guide.

To better understand this troubling ongoing transformation, connect the dots below:

Google TV:

  • NYT: “Google and partners take aim at the TV;” “The move is an effort by Google and Intel to extend their dominance of computing into television, an arena where they have little sway.”
  • WSJ

Unicaster-friendly set-top box regulations:

  • FCC staff recently proposed a set-top box regulatory proceeding to ensure all video providers install a new gateway device whose “sole function should be to bridge the proprietary or unique elements of the network… to widely used and accessible open networking and communications standards” (a.k.a. the Google Android operating system).

Google-YouTube’s world-highest bandwidth usage:

  • Per the Register: “Google handles more internet traffic than all but two of the world’s ISPs, according to data from network-security outfit Arbor Networks.” … “The difference, of course, is that tier 1 ISPs handle traffic from myriad sources, including, well, Google. The Googlenet merely handles Google traffic.” “The story here is how quickly the nature of the Internet topology and landscape is changing.”

FCC support for Googleband:

  • The FCC Chairman praised Google’s announced testbed for ultra-fast one gigabit broadband. The only current potential use for that much bandwidth would be unicasting distribution of high definition video and interactive gaming by a dominant Web video unicasting platform — Google’s YouTube, which:
  • Has 14 times more share than any Web video competitor per comScore data, and which
  • Inefficiently does not cache content closer to the user to avoid overloading the Internet backbone with billions of redundant high-bandwidth-intensive transmissions.

FCC proposed implicit subsidies for Google’s extreme and wasteful bandwidth use.

  • The FCC’s proposed Open Internet regulations clearly state in para 106: “…a broadband provider may not charge a content, application or service provider for enhanced or prioritized access to the subscribers of the broadband service provider…”
  • The effect of this sweeping proposed FCC edict would be to implicitly and massively subsidize Google, by prohibiting Google from having to pay ISPs commensurately for their world’s largest and fastest-growing Internet bandwidth usage and cloud computing business.

Google privacy arbitrage:

  • Google is not subject to current privacy laws (sections 222, 551 and the ECPA) that protect consumers’ video viewing habits and private information.
  • Thus, Google would uniquely be able to target advertising based on its unique ability to merge myriad user usage profiles from: Google search, YouTube, Reader, Books, Gmail, Buzz, Voice, Latitude, Checkout, Analytics, AdSense, DoubleClick, etc.
  • Simply, Google is unique in having the world’s most intimate, comprehensive and integrable user-profile-database of interests, desires and intentions.

    Google dominates search:

    • Google has 70% share in U.S. per DOJ, and 90% share in Europe per EU.

    Google’s own telling public statements:

    • “Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” (Web site)
    • “Search is critical. If you are not found the rest cannot follow,” said Google head of printing partnerships, Santiago de la Mora.
    • “Ultimately, our goal at Google is to have the strongest advertising network and all the world’s information,” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
    • “Advertising is the lifeblood of the digital economy,” said The Official Google Blog.
    • “The brutal economic answer is that the Internet does in fact change other people’s businesses because of this massive distribution. We should just acknowledge that and not hide from it,” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
    • “…the infrastructure means that Google can launch any new service at negligible cost or risk.” …”Its costs are mostly fixed, so any incremental revenue is profit. It makes good sense for Google to push into television and other markets, says Mr. Varian. Even if Google only gets one cent for each viewer (compared with an average of 50 cents for each click on the Web), that cent carries no variable cost and is thus pure profit,.” said Google Chief Economist Hal Varian, per the Economist.
    • “Anything that benefits the Internet ecosystem, benefits Google,” said Google’s head of industry relations, Peter Greenberger.

    Simply, all these dots connect to Google positioning itself technologically, regulatorily and business-wise to rapidly be the unicaster and uni-distributor of content on the Internet—whether it be video, books, news, blogs, maps, Websites/Webpages etc. The open question is whether U.S. or EU antitrust authorities will intervene before or after it is effectively “game over” for digital information distribution competition.

    For more in-depth information on this anti-competitive problem, see “Googleopoly IV: How Google extends its search monopoly into monopsony over digital information” or visit Precursor’s sister sites: and
    Scott Cleland is one of nation’s foremost techcom analysts and experts at the nexus of: capital markets, public policy and techcom industry change. He is widely-respected in industry, government, media and capital markets as a forward thinker, free market proponent, and leading authority on the future of communications. Precursor LLC is an industry research and consulting firm, specializing in the techcom sector, whose mission is to help companies anticipate change for competitive advantage. Cleland is also Chairman of, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Precursor LLC and an e-forum on Net Neutrality funded by a wide range of broadband telecom, cable and wireless companies. He previously founded The Precursor Group Inc., which Institutional Investor magazine ranked as the #1 “Best Independent” research firm in communications for two years in a row. His latest op eds can be seen at

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