With Apps, however, the opportunity for paid, authenticated users and a customized experience can be presented. Hulu Plus is already on so many different devices, adding Google TV seems reasonable - and this will further accelerate the trend for cord-cutting on the cable side of the business.
Beyond that, we have not yet seen the "killer app" for Google TV. For the iPhone, it turned out to be "Apps" in general, but even more specifically, casual games. Could the same be true of TV? We'll find out soon enough.
Samsung recently reported that over a million apps have been downloaded for their TV sets (link) so there's clearly demand for some applications in the installed base, though a million apps is a drop in the bucket given the size of Samsung's TV installed base.
|Samsung TV Apps, Flickr CC Photo Link to Brent Payne|
Just about everyone has tried and failed to transform TV. Most people just want to sit on their butts and watch. But we should have little faith in the ingenuity of developers and users incoming up with something - they have successfully enriched every other computing and entertainment platform and TV should be no different.
This year at CES, we can expect to see significant new players in the Google TV business, Vizio taking the opening salvo, and that's going to be exciting. If Google can release an updated version with apps, then we'll start to see real innovations.