Traditional Media Investments In Digital Media Rise

Discovery Communications has followed the footstep of other traditional media companies -- NBCUniversal, Time Warner and others -- making sizable but relatively small investments in new digital companies. 

The key word here might be “small.”

Discovery announced it has made a $100 million deal with Group Nine Media, which houses the digital media brands including Thrillist, a lifestyle brand; NowThis, a creator of social-media videos; the Dodo, a site focused on animals; and Seeker.

Last year, Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal invested $200 million each in BuzzFeed and Vox Media. This year, Time Warner Inc.’s Turner did a $45 million investment in online publisher Refinery29 and a $15 million in news Web site Mashable



This comes as possible traditional TV companies might be shying away -- in part -- of the bigger players. We speak about Twitter, for one. Walt Disney came, looked, and decided it wasn’t interested. 

At a possible price tag of $15 billion to $20 billion, perhaps there is too much premium price built into some big established digital media companies. 

Others have mulled a possible Netflix deal -- mature digital media businesses. Might Verizon be thinking the same thing about Yahoo?

Disney recently made a $1 billion investment for 33% in BAMTech, a digital ad-tech company would could help ESPN move more broadly into an OTT platform future. 

Media companies continue to seek next-generation media efforts -- not only to make a bigger bridge for their established brands, but to bet on where new digital media niches are going, separate from their traditional media businesses.

Obvious partnerships through social media -- Twitter, Facebook, and others -- all to promote TV, movie and other content -- in terms of what they can do as as promotional vehicles may be close to fully realized.

Next, closely follow what Google, Facebook and Twitter, or other players, can do with video content -- original or acquired -- and how to prosper from still rising digital video advertising.

All this occurs when traditional media’s smaller out-of-nowhere digital media gambles look to fill out their somewhat dimming media screens.

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