Google Has Multimedia on Its Mind

 
 
By Ben Charny  |  Posted 2006-04-03
 
 
 

Internet search provider Google appears more serious than ever about preparing features for home electronics.

In the past few weeks, the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm has begun looking for employees to make Google TV and radio products compatible with televisions, stereos, radios and cell phones.

As for TV, Google appears to be preparing an on-demand service that would serve up videos and games. The company is asking for software engineers with experience in Internet-based, interactive TV, personal video recorders, video-on-demand and some unspecified features offered by cable operators.

There are now at least three TV-related job openings at Google: a product manager, and two television technology engineers, one based in Mountain View, Calif., the other in Kirkland, Wash.

Googles radio efforts are getting at least two more employees, both based in Newport Beach, Calif. The job descriptions suggest Google is now more seriously meshing its Internet search and ad features with the systems of dMarc Broadcasting.

In January, Google announced that it purchased dMarc of Newport, Calif., which places advertisements on more than 4,500 radio broadcasts, including 40 percent of the top 50 radio groups.

Click here to read more about Googles purchase of dMarc.

Google benefits from such an expansion of its features because, to a large degree, its Internet search, messaging and mapping are restricted to personal computers.

In a way, Google has merely scratched the surface when taking into account how the number of TVs, stereos, radios and cell phones now in circulation vastly outnumber personal computers.

By extending features to televisions and radios, Google would also have a much more competitive advertising package to offer companies, which it needs.

When it comes to getting off the PC, Google lags behind chief rival, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL, the Time Warner Inc. company.

The moves may also be in response to the pressure from Google investors worried the firm isnt preparing for the inevitable time when annual Internet ad sales level out.

"There are a million ways in which Google could fail," writes Jupiter Research analyst Barry Parr. "But the upside, both in inherent potential and in the potential to outflank their competitors, is enormous.

A Google spokeswoman shed very little insight into whats going on when asked for comment for this story.

The representative wrote, in an e-mail, that, "Google is always looking for talented individuals worldwide to join the company. Unfortunately, theres nothing more beyond the job description that we can share at this time."

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