Google has introduced a new feature to its search results which will display upcoming air times when TV shows are searched for.
We reported back in April that this feature would be on the way in the near future, and now it has rolled out in US desktop and mobile search.
Here is an example of what it looks like:
We launched a nifty feature on Google Search that shows when (and on what channel!) you can watch your favorite show or movie. 🙂 pic.twitter.com/KhEfYcI879
— Satyajeet Salgar (@salgar) November 15, 2016
As you can see, after searching for the name of a show Google will display when it will be on TV soon. Google provides the date, time, channel, and episode number.
There are no immediate plans to expand this feature to other markets, but Satyajeet Salgar says the company would ultimately like to broaden the availability.
Since I live in Canada I haven’t been able to experiment with the feature personally, which is unfortunate because I have some unanswered questions.
For example, what happens if you search for a show during its off-season? Will Google tell you that the show is not currently airing, or will the box simply not display?
Will Google be able to pick up air dates for a show if it’s being syndicated on a local network? Or does it only pick up major networks?
If anyone feels like feeding my curiosity by finding out the answers to those questions, I would be much obliged. I will also update this post with the new information.
A Threat to Other TV Listing Sites?
When we first heard about this feature back in April, one of my immediate thoughts was that this is going to be a considerable threat to sites like TV Guide and others in that niche. However, Google makes decisions based on what is best for searchers, and its hard to deny the convenient of the new TV listings box.
Online searches for TV shows are becoming a big deal, especially on mobile. Google has stated searches for TV shows and films on mobile are up than 55 percent over the past year. When more searchers take notice of the new TV listings box, it’s possible that number could grow by even more next year.