×

Special Report on Google: YouTube, Glass, Fiber & More

First in Variety’s new 'Deep Focus' series on major showbiz topics

When Variety decided to dive deep into the state of Hollywood’s talent agencies in our May No. 1 issue, we knew it would take more than an article or two to do the job right. Given the positive feedback the “Agency Angst” package received, it was clear that providing exhaustive coverage of what matters most to the media business was worth repeating.

The July 16, 2013, issue of Weekly Variety demonstrates that commitment. Welcome to the first in an occasional series we’re calling “Deep Focus,” which aims to offer an extensive exploration of subjects that are having a profound impact on our readers, whether well into the future or on how they do business today.

Our first choice for Deep Focus was a no-brainer: Google. It’s hard to think of any company more influential in the entertainment industry — and just about every other industry that uses a computer. What founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin established as an Internet search engine has evolved into so much more. Part of what Variety set out to do in this issue was to document the myriad ways Google affects content companies for better or worse.

Hollywood can think of Google in two basic ways: One is Google as a partner, owner of a massive global footprint across platforms from Gmail to Google Play that connects the world with its products. In some cases, Google has gone so far as to be an active investor, supplying funds to content brands poised for breakout success, like Machinima and Vevo.

SEE MORE: View All Stories from Our Special Report on Google

And then there is Google the power player. From Silicon Valley to Capitol Hill, the company has made clear it will not be pushed around. Simply kowtowing to Hollywood on piracy isn’t going to happen and, as Google’s role in recent revelations regarding the NSA made clear, its data capabilities have frightening implications.

Google isn’t just about a search engine and YouTube, though we have plenty to say about both, given they are the primary drivers of a business with an enterprise value of $241 billion; no company is bigger by that metric. We also examined the next big things up their sleeves, like Google Glass — the specs Forrester Research hailed as “the next iPhone” — and Google Fiber, the ultrafast broadband network that could end up upending U.S. pay-TV behemoths.

I had the pleasure of giving Glass a try in a recent visit to Google’s offices in Venice, Calif., and was knocked out by the possibilities it presented. The same promising vibe came across earlier this year during a tour of YouTube’s new studio in Playa Vista. It was then I fi rst realized they deserved the Deep Focus treatment. Read on and I know you’ll feel the same way.

Related Stories: Special Report on Google

More Biz

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA Takes Aim at Endeavor IPO, Tells Members It Has 'Sufficient Funds' for Legal Battle

    The Writers Guild of America has gone to the Securities and Exchange Commission in its battle with Hollywood’s largest talent agencies over the issue of packaging fees and affiliated production. The guild sent a letter to William Hinman, director of the SEC’s corporate finance division, the guild accuses WME parent company Endeavor of misrepresenting the [...]

  • Honoree Yusef Salaam poses at the

    Yusef Salaam Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Yusef Salaam, one of the men who was exonerated after being wrongfully convicted in the 1989 Central Park jogger case, has signed with CAA for representation in all areas of business worldwide. The story of Salaam and the four other men — then boys — who were wrongfully convicted was recently told in Netflix’s miniseries [...]

  • Kim Kardashian West Kimono

    Kim Kardashian West's 'Kimono' Shapewear Sparks Backlash

    West announced yesterday that she was launching a line of form-fitting shapewear in nine different skin tones and a range of sizes. But the name of the reality star’s latest business venture — “Kimono” — is already wrapped up in controversy.Kimonos are Japanese robes traditionally worn at formal affairs, prompting some to accuse the businesswoman [...]

  • Discovery Corporate New Logo

    Discovery Faces Backlash From Unscripted Producers After Shift in Series Payment Process

    Discovery Inc. is facing a backlash from the unscripted production community following a shift in the cable giant’s protocol for paying for programming. During the past year, Discovery has implemented a new system that calls for the company to pay producers for shows after all episodes and related material for a given season have been [...]

  • Wendy Goldstein Named Republic Records President,

    Republic Records Names Wendy Goldstein President of West Coast Creative

    Republic Records advances Wendy Goldstein to President of West Coast Creative, label co-founders and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman announced today. Goldstein has overseen the company’s Santa Monica office since 2017 as EVP of Republic Records. Over the past year, she headed up the label’s efforts for Ariana Grande’s  back-to-back No. 1 debuts for the singer’s “Sweetener” and “Thank U, Next” albums, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content