Rumor: Google Working on Netflix Competitor

google streaming service netflix

A random yet extremely fascinating image popped up on Google+ this week (yes, I still check it).

Hugo Seijas had shared an image with tech journalist Mike Elgan, a screenshot of a survey that Mr. Seijas was taking that asked him about “Google Monthly Movie Pass.”

google monthly movie pass

The comments below the image immediately jumped into speculation mode with everyone wondering what exactly this question was suggesting in the survey. Some folks immediately thought “Netflix competitor,” while others were quicker to point out the likelihood that it was intended to determine if survey participants were reading the questions thoroughly.

Gut reaction: this passes the “sniff test” at face value. In other words, it only seems natural that Google WOULD be working on a SVOD service. But as to whether or not this survey is revealing anything specifically, things are far less clear.

Early “why this is probably just a rumor” thoughts:

  • First and foremost, these types of surveys often have “are you actually paying attention” questions, this could easily have been that, as no such Google service currently exists.
  • Google Play is already relatively successful, it wouldn’t necessarily make too much sense to break too far from that brand and start fresh. The “monthly movie pass” doesn’t seem all that well related to the already-established “Play” product.
  • Leaking a major product like this through a survey doesn’t seem like the best strategy, even from a “feeling it out” perspective.

Early “why this could very easily be true” thoughts:

  • Google is VERY well positioned to create a Netflix competitor. They could likely compete on price and quantity of content with ease.
  • Google is currently competing with a lot of other streaming entertainment companies, it certainly seems likely they would have an interest in the ever-expanding cord cutting market to duke it out with the likes of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

Google of course has not commented on this whatsoever, so we’re going to dig a little deeper to see if we can get some answers. For now, I’m certainly leaning more toward this being a lie detector question in the survey, but wouldn’t be surprised to get some big news from Google here soon.  Can Google compete with the likes of Netflix or HBO Go? They certainly have the resources and technical know-how.

Seems like great timing with Apple’s WWDC just around the corner.

  • They do already have the music pass. I imagine it wouldn’t be too far a stretch to include a movie pass as well.