Google declares war on the TV guide

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TV is changing. For years, instead of just watching what the TV networks have been serving up, we’ve been able to turn to the internet to find other options. Subsequently, the internet has created a host of big new players in TV, like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, while giving us much more choice when it comes to what we watch.

With more choice, however, comes the issue of keeping up to date with what you have to choose from. The old school TV guide can no longer keep up with the huge internet libraries of movies and TV shows we now have competing for our hard-earned dollars. There is, however, a technology firm out there that thinks it is up to this gargantuan task. That firm is Google.

Google is working on a way to help you know what each streaming service is showing

It can be very difficult keeping up to date with what the likes of Netflix are showing this month and what they’ll be showing next month. The contracts that give them access to shows are very complicated and expensive things, which means the rosters of all the streaming services are fluctuating all the time. Even, if you stuck to just one streaming service, it would be hard keeping on top of what you can watch in one country but can’t in another.

To keep on top of all this you either have to subscribe to the press releases from the streaming services themselves or closely monitor social media for updates from trusted sources. The first option offers some dry reading and the second offers a whole world of potential distractions. Both are problematic and offer no guarantee that you’ll successfully stay on top of what you can watch where.

According to the guys over at Quartz, Google is working on a way to make this whole process easier and much less problematic. The report says that a new feature is being tested that will add streaming options to the search results for TV show and movie-related search queries. For a while now, typing something like “Romantic comedy” into Google will open up Google’s movie search box that offers all sorts of useful information about rom-coms.

A Google spokesman tells Quartz, “We’re always experimenting with new ways to help people find relevant information through Search.” Google replied to a question from Quartz after the feature had been spotted while they were running the test. The spokesperson also added, however, that there was nothing to announce at the time.

If this feature does roll out to everybody, it will give us all a new and easy way of seeing what streaming services are showing the content we are searching for. This won’t, however, be a golden bullet that will help us look objectively at what each streaming service offers so we can decide which to subscribe to.

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