Google Puts Video Monitoring Services and TV Guides Up Against the Ropes

If you’re a publicist that spends time trying to get reporters to write about television programs so that viewers will tune in, this news about how technology is changing the way people decide what to watch may be of interest.

Google’s announcement that they’ll by adding TV closed captioning to the list of searchable sources could take pose a threat to the public relations video monitoring services out there who earn a portion of their revenue by tracking closed captioning and issuing news coverage reports to their clients.

Up to now, most public relations professionals had relied almost exclusively on electronic media clipping services to find and deliver relevant news coverage. And while the clipping services still provide a valuable service delivering local broadcast news to clients outside a stations reach, charging a fee for reporting looks like it could be on its way out.

But perhaps even more interesting is the fact that the ability to search the world of television programming based on spoken words could dramatically alter the way we decide which television shows to watch, how much of a particular television show to watch. Who needs a television programming guide when you can monitor the real thing?

Could you imagine if Google did a deal with TiVO and/or cable TV providers to allow people to search and monitor the world broadcast and cable talk shows and news based on transcripts so that we could record individual segments (instead of entire programs) based on what’s actually said on the airways? I definitely can.

The Google announcement appears to have prompted Yahoo! to say that they’ll be adding similar functionality to their TV Eyes service, which I have been using for years, but without much success.