| SAN FRANCISCO, March 18
SAN FRANCISCO, March 18 Intel Corp's
media group has been on a hiring spree as it prepares to launch
an Internet television service later this year, underscoring the
chip maker's seriousness about the new business.
Intel Media is now looking to add 60 people to its staff of
over 300, said spokesman Jon Carvill. He said the group could
number 400 within the next six months or so, compared to less
than 100 a year ago.
In a major divergence from its core business of
manufacturing chips for PCs, Intel plans to sell consumers a
television set-top box that offers live programming as well as
on-demand content in small bundles.
It will compete with heavyweights like Apple Inc,
Amazon Inc and Google Inc that believe the
$100 billion cable television ecosystem is ripe for change. The
service, announced in February, would go further than products
currently offered by Apple, Netflix and others.
But some media executives and analysts have been skeptical
that Intel will be able to convince content providers to agree
to terms that are attractive enough to make the service viable.
Carvill declined to comment on the progress of content
negotiations other than to say Intel is engaged with partners
and remains confident it will launch later this year.
Intel Media, led by former BBC executive Erik Huggers, is
looking for engineers experienced in cloud computing, user
interface design and security.
Intel also wants specialists in Hadoop, a platform used for
mining vast troves of digital data. That could point toward a
heavy emphasis on analyzing customers' viewing habits.
Huggers has said the product's set-top box will include a
camera that could be used to automatically steer content and ads
toward specific users.
One job ad on Intel's website is for an "audience
representative" who would be responsible for communicating with
customers via phone, chat, email, and possibly video. Among the
qualifications, "Must be weird."