Today, Google and Vizio announced that Vizio’s SmartCast P-Series displays and Vizio soundbars and speakers will ship with Google cast built in.
This means that consumers can use Android or iOS smartphones and tablets to remote cast streamed videos and music directly to the big screen. Netflix, HBO GO, Youtube, Google Play Music, Spotify already support these displays and sound bars because they are Chromecast compatible.
Vizio screens and sound systems with built in Googe Cast can be conscripted to play anything running in a browser bringing content like homework and home movies to larger screens. Google also changed the name of its Chromecast app to the Google Cast app for obvious reasons. Severing the Google Cast brand from Chromecast reduces the friction for consumer electronics brands to adopt it. Google open sourced the cast SDK and many other reference designs for use by any company that wants to port it to their consumer hardware to avail their consumers to stream from almost all popular audio and streaming content services.
Consumer entertainment television, display and audio equipment manufacturer’s need to opt in to a streaming strategy. Most don’t have the market share or finances to establish their own standard in an already fragmented market where Google Chromecast has the largest share with 35% and Apple TV 20%, according to Strategy Analytics.
Google’s approach to Cast is similar to Android. Though subject to some licensing constraints Cast is fairly open for use by hardware makers and Google’s related business models aren’t tied to producing hardware. There would be little impact on Google’s revenues if after establishing Google Cast as a standard Google exited the $35 Chromecast business and left it to consumer product manufacturers. The updated Google Cast app will be rolling out this week on Android & iOS.