Last week, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) released their new device, the Chromecast, which will stream video services directly to an HDTV through WIFI. Hype has started to build around the Chromecast as a “cable killer.” But while the Chromecast won’t actually have a noticeable impact on cable, it will still threaten other markets — and bring in some nice revenue for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Stating that the Chromecast will be the downfall of cable as we know it is pure overspeculation. It’s true that cable providers are under more threat to outside competition than ever before, with video services like Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Hulu offering cable-free video streaming and even original programming of their own. Now, even channels like HBO provide ways to view their content over the internet.
The Chromecast just provides a way to access various video services on your television that were already accessible to customers through other means. As of now, it doesn’t even provide original programming. According to the FCC, cable is a fixture in over 80% of households. To say that a dongle that will bring nothing new to the table can take down that industry is unbelievable.
Who should be afraid?
As it stands now, Chromecast competes with the Roku and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV. The Roku player is priced higher than the Chromecast, with low-end models at $40 and newer models selling for $99. Roku offers a large selection of channels, and includes apps for Amazon instant video and Vudu. It can also access content from external memory drives.
The Chromecast currently offers apps from Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) and YouTube, and is unique in that it can stream the Chrome web browser to a connected TV from a PC or Mac laptop. Other video services including HBO Go, Hulu, and music service VEVO have stated they are developing apps for the Chromecast.
After you plug the dongle into your TV’s HDMI port, you can operate Chromecast from most Android and iOS devices. With a cheap price of $35, this gadget will be strong competition for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Roku, especially if Google continues to bring in more apps.