In our last two entries we covered some of the major talking points from Google Executive Chair Eric Schmidt’s interview at D9 this year. As the opening interview of the All Things Digital D9 conference, it’s no surprise that a lot of great ground was covered – so let’s get to another key point: Google’s failed partnerships with the entertainment industry and Facebook.
One of Google’s great struggles right now is establishing effective partnerships with those in the entertainment industry. In regards to the Google Music Locker – a project Google has pursued despite seemingly insurmountable licensing hurdles – Schmidt stated, “Music is fundamental from an entertainment, from a branding, from an experiential level on [mobile] devices.” Further, since Apple already has so many established partnerships thanks to its longstanding and successful iTunes platform, Google has some catching up to do. Rather than pursuing the iTunes model, however, Google has opted to open a new concept: a cloud-based subscription.
“You have to go from a strategy where you charge a lot for a small number of copies,” says Schmidt, “to charging a little in various other ways for a large number of copies.” That may be something the entertainment industry just isn’t ready for, at least if the struggles with both YouTube and the Music Locker give any indication.
But that’s not the only area where Google is struggling to make friends. It’s well known that Google had the option to buy, and then later to partner with, Facebook. The mistake of turning down this deal is one that Schmidt himself made – and acknowledged – and which is hurting the company even now. “Traditionally [Facebook has] done deals with Microsoft, I think basically because Microsoft was willing to give them terms that we were unwilling to give them.” But Schmidt states that a deal with Facebook is still something Google is working on, and it may be seen in the future.
There have also been some partnerships that Google hasn’t been able to maintain thanks to their spread into new markets. Most vitally, Apple, whose relationship with Google (according to Schmidt) “started off very much a partnership. Now with the success of Android, it’s more rough.”
[via The Wall Street Journal]