A Mega Year for Media

The biz is booming. Fueled by the $11.1 billion sale of media, market research and measurement firm VNU last year, 2006 finished with a record 151 media deals. That made last year the strongest in quality and quantity since 2000 for media investments, according to a report released by investment bankers DeSilva & Phillips. Those 151 transactions topped out at $20.5 billion, 242 percent higher than 2005.

Other high-profile deals last year included Google's purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion. Indeed, that purchase is spurring a number of smaller deals this year. "There are five deals a week going down below the $20 million price level," said Todd Dagres, general partner and founder of VC firm Spark Capital. "For every YouTube there are 50 smaller deals. They are not loud enough to be noticed, but add up.

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