Report: Google Begins Showing Ads for Physical Products, Stores on Google TV Menus
It can feel hard to escape advertisements as a consumer these days. Everywhere you turn, there’s seemingly a new commercial or bus bench or billboard hawking a product or service that you may not have even heard of. One of the last ad-free havens for customers was subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services, but even these have been increasing their ad-supported options of late in order to bring in more revenue.
Tech giant Google has apparently executed a shift in the way it offers users ads, according to a report from 9to5 Google. Users of devices that run on the Google TV operating system have begun to notice that advertisements for products and stores are now being integrated into menus where they browse through streaming apps, shows, movies. and more.
When Google first began introducing ads to its operating system menus in 2020, they were limited to advertisements for movies and series that users could watch via various streaming services available on Google TV and Android TV. Because of this, they were not even technically classified as ads, but rather as content recommendations. However, in 2021, the company stepped up its advertising efforts to include ads for movies that were currently playing in theaters.
Now, the shift has become complete. First, an Indian Google TV user reported being shown an ad for a local retailer of Apple products, and a Canadian Google TV customer revealed that they’d been given ads for local fast food chain Tim Horton’s. Users in other regions should expect similar ads to appear on their Google TV interfaces soon — if they haven’t arrived already.
The change from offering ads related only to content to showing ads for stores and products is likely disappointing to Google TV users, but it’s simply an indication of where the entertainment industry as a whole is headed. Monetization of users is the name of the game now, and users should expect to see more ads in general, especially as media companies try to figure out the best ways to help an advertising industry that is currently suffering.
To its credit, Google has also been introducing new features that help users more easily interact with Google TV. In mid-January, Google released updates to its Google Home app which included a highly functional digital TV remote users could access on their mobile phone. In October 2022, Google TV also launched new safety features on its children's profiles, including watchlists and more robust parental controls.