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Culture & Religion

Google on the Future of TV

At the year's biggest annual television conference, Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was invited as the keynote speaker. He explained his vision for a hybrid TV-Internet industry of the future. 

What’s the Latest Development?

In a break with tradition, Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt was invited to be the keynote speaker at the year’s biggest annual television conference, the Edinburgh International Television Festival. Known as the MacTaggart Lecture, the festival’s keynote speech is typically given by an industry veteran, not someone who represents the post-TV era. “Even before Google’s executive chairman had taken to the stage, there were mutterings from festival veterans that his would be the most anodyne MacTaggart ever, that he was miscast as keynote speaker, that this was tech tokenism taken a step too far.”

What’s the Big Idea?

While admonishing those who sought to block the development of an online TV project, Schmidt’s speech emphasized areas where television and the Internet might benefit each other in the future. Since Google acquired YouTube, numerous television companies have sued to keep their content from the online platform. Since then, Schmidt says about Google: “We’ve matured in attitude and technologically, and you understand there’s a much larger audience available to you as a result of these new digital tools.” His speech generally opposed industry regulation. 


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