ITV and Channel 4 have both revealed that they have no plans to develop for Google’s new television platform Chromecast, raising questions as to whether brands will look to it as a potential advertising platform in the UK.
The device, which connects TVs with the internet through smartphone apps, was released last month, so far only offers its own YouTube channel, alongside apps for BBC iPlayer, Red Bull TV and Netflix among its major content providers.
The company has recently opened the platform to app developers to build content for its customers too, however the service has a clear lack of content to offer purchasers, especially in the UK.
Approached by The Drum, both Channel 4 and ITV revealed that they were not planning to place their content on Chromecast.
“We follow all technology developments in the TV market with interest. As a commercially-funded not-for-profit broadcaster we have to prioritise carefully which platforms and devices we support. At present we have no timetable for any Chromecast integration,” explained a spokesperson for Channel 4.
Meanwhile, an ITV spokesperson said: "There are no immediate plans to launch ITV Player on Google Chromecast,” although it is understood that both will watch the platform as a potential option for them to share their content.
Tim Lawrence, head of digital investment at MediaCom, said: “The Chromecast model is more set up for the US where there isn’t such a dominant satellite TV producer such as Sky or Virgin, there are lots of smaller cable TV providers, so there are a number of packages. So Netflix has been extremely popular, it is a way to find that content without paying a larger fee to a monthly provider. In the UK, Google needs to get more UK specific content on there. It will happen in time, but they are going to need to continue to produce for the US.”
Lawrence highlighted Google’s previous attempt to enter the TV marketplace, Google TV, which failed to gain widespread uptake, claiming that the issue for Google was that it had an "uneasy" relationship with content producers who saw it and YouTube as "gateways" to illegal content.
He also said that it was imperative that Google provided more content quickly in order for Chromecast to succeed before another competitor launched a similar platform: “Apple, if they produce anything similar, and Samsung could do it through a smartphone and TV combination They don’t have long to get that content and Google has failed at these things in the past.”
In an effort to grow its content provision, last week, YouTube signed a deal to host all of British Pathe’s back catalogue of 85,000 films, created over several decades.
Read The Drum's review of Chromecast here.