Google is snapping up Frommers, boosts Google+ tools

Krystal Peak · August 13, 2012 · Short URL:

As everyone looks toward social, Google adds sound quality tool, folds in Frommers content

Google is doubling down the value it adds to its social component Google+ with a few really interesting tools. Google launched Monday, a Studio Mode for its Hangouts feature so that broadcasters can optimize sound quality for real-time music streaming rather than just the voice and video options being used currently. Studio Mode can provide CD-quality sound to compete with Ustream as a choice is airing concerts to fans at home.

Until now Hangouts' sound quality was just a few strokes above Skype and you couldn't hear all the nuance that some music fans listen for. 

Studio Mode will now available as an audio setting in Hangouts On Air, but the creator of the Hangout has to be the one to switch to on.

This addition comes on the heels of Google reducing the search result prominence of websites known for illegal music torrents and it appears that Google wants to be in bed with the music industry to hopefully further monetize. 

If Google gets some traction with musicians and their fans through this new feature it would likely push to connect people to buy songs and albums through the Google Music section of Google Play to increase the competition between the search giant and the music strong-hold of iTunes and Spotify.


Music isn't the only leisure activity Google is leveraging to boost its social site service, the big tech entity is also in the process of acquiring the Frommer’s travel brand from the publishing company John Wiley & Sons, Inc. The deal is nearly done, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, which also believes that the Frommer’s brand could be merged into Google’s Zagat brand once the acquisition is complete.

The big name is travel has been looking for a buyer since March and the terms of this current deal have not been publically disclosed yet.

Frommer’s, which was founded back in 1957, includes more than 300 guidebooks as well as the website. 

Since Google has been using Zagat to increase the engagement of its users on Google+ to help get people talking, sharing and reviewing as much as possible.

When Google snapped up Zagat in September 2011 to really boost up Google+ Local which listings service and Google Places. Once Google secures Frommers, the tips, reviews, Local and Places segments of Google+ will become exponentially more rich.

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