updated 11:20 am EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
Android media and YouTube divisions at odds
Google's difficulty competing with Apple in media may be a virtue of problems with its own internal culture based on investigations brought to light on Tuesday. CNET understood that executives behind Google's VP of global content, Robert Kyncl, complained that the content strategy was "fragmented" and working in separate directions. Content partners have complained both that Google's actual content lagged Apple's and that the Android and YouTube teams didn't appear to be coordinating with each other.
Negotiations for Google Music reportedly created surprise among labels, who didn't see any connection to YouTube despite its reputation for music videos and its serving as the current framework for Vevo. Rumors have swirled of Vevo jumping to Facebook as a content host.
Paid video services might be faring poorly at the same time. Similar to early Google Music results, the video store (now Google Play Movies) was said by a studio source to have "miniscule" income from its purchases and rentals.
An official response from Google dismissed the idea there was any conflict, and said its approach "varies" depending on the partners and content. There were sometimes where divisions worked together and sometimes independently, it said, but it coordinated between them in "all cases." However, when asked who made decisions on content, the company said in equal measure that both Kyncl and mobile VP Andy Rubin made decisions on content.
Books, movies, and music were added to Android Market in the past year and a half to give Android, and to a lesser extent the desktop, a content ecosystem much like the one Apple had established years earlier for iOS and iPod devices through iTunes. The reasons behind the slow adoption haven't been mentioned, but splintering of OS versions, devices, and regional rollouts may have made getting access more difficult. It was only this month's consolidation under the Google Play Store that the search firm had its various stores under a clear, unified banner.