Rich Greenfield, BTIG media and tech analyst, presents an interesting thesis on how voice technology could be the final nail in the coffin for traditional networks. Below is a transcript of the video.
Sara Silverstein: And … I talked to Scott, Professor Galloway, a month ago. And he said that voice control was going to take away the necessity of brands. And you feel similar about voice?
Richard Greenfield: I’m enamoured with voice. Totally enamoured. I don’t know completely how it plays out.
Silverstein: But it’s in everyone’s house? Some people’s house?
Greenfield: Well it’s starting to be. I think it’s moving very very fast. I think there was a Mary Meeker’s deck a few weeks ago, which was sent around. I think she had 10 million Alexa Echo and Echo dots have already been pushed out. And that’s not even counting all the Fire TV sticks that also have Alexa technology. Google’s coming on very fast. Google assistant is being integrated. Google Lens with assistance coming soon. So imagine a world where you show up to your television and you say you want to watch the Mets. You’re not going to care whether it tunes to SNY, Fox, Fox Sports 1, ESPN, your DVR. You don’t care.
Silverstein: And right now when you search on like Amazon Fire it says, “Do you want to watch this on Netflix?” or whatever. And it’s going to stop doing that.
Greenfield: I’m just saying, if you say with your voice say, “Tune to the Cubs game right now,” or “Tune to the Mets game right now,” or “Tune to the Giants game right now.”
Silverstein: You don’t care where it’s coming from.
Greenfield: I think you’re just not going to care. So I think brand gets buried and the content rises to the top. You’re going to say Game of Thrones, will you say HBO? Like are you going to stay “tune to HBO” or going to say just “I want Game of Thrones right now.” And you won’t care where it comes from. So I think, look there’s so much content available, that you know ,I don’t think most of the — Food Network may have a brand, Nickelodeon may have a brand, but most networks don’t have a very strong brand identity. I don’t think you just turn on a lot of channels and just leave them on all day.
Silverstein: Just for the children. Just Disney Jr.
Greenfield: Yeah, there’s just not a lot of channels that have that type of brand equity. So if you’re tuning in, you’re usually going to watch a show. Voice does that really well, faster than can manipulate those — I mean, think about it you let your phone — think about 10 years ago, you would have probably had a Razr. Probably pink.
Silverstein: I did. A pink one.
Greenfield: See, I knew you had a pink one.
Silverstein: I don’t even like pink but I did have a pink Razr because it was cool.
Greenfield: So 10 or 11 years ago, you had a pink Razr. Now you have an iPhone or an Android phone that looks like a supercomputer in your pocket. You go home at night and you look at that cable remote and it is the most antiquated piece of hardware in your house. It literally hasn’t changed in a decade. It’s embarrassing how bad that technology is. So search and discovery and navigation is terrible. And I think voice, it’s right for disruption with voice and its search. All of that data with your voice and say, “I just want this” is going to be incredibly powerful and you’re starting to see the first TVs — Dish Network is embedding Alexa so you’re going to say to Dish [to] tune to whatever you want. Pick Modern Family. That’s going to find Modern Family either live or on demand.
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