Commentary

Google: King of all Media?

  • by March 20, 2007
So a panel of experts led by Jordan Rohan, managing director, RBC Capital Markets, is debating whether Google will inherit the earth--or at least dominate all media. Joe Mandese, MediaPost's editor-in-chief makes the case for Goog. As all media is becoming digital, (for example, all TV content will go digital in six months), it's becoming increasingly apparent that Goog is going gangbusters. Take WPP Group, one of the major ad agency holding companies. Mandese suggests that WPP's clients probably generate some $150 million worth of business for the search giant. Google's a nearly $12 billion company now. Henry Blodget, who appeared on the panel, makes his argument against Goog as king of all media in his blog "Internet Outsider" and onstage. Why? Blodget says: "Traditional media content--journalism, linear storytelling (in TV and movies), music, talk shows, comedy--is not going away. Google currently does not produce traditional media content, and won't unless it radically changes its business. What Google does do--extremely well--is organize, distribute and aggregate media. As a result, it is a major threat to traditional media distributors, but not (in most cases) to media creators. (For the purposes of this debate, I'm going to assume that to be "King of All Media" one can't just be a distributor)." Blodget maintains that the majority of Goog's profit comes from search results. In his blog, he continues: "Believe it or not, Google does have some online competition. Although Yahoo was knocked flat in the early rounds, it has recently staggered back to its hands and knees. Now that Microsoft's core business is under attack, meanwhile, it may finally begin to get its Internet act together (unlikely, I know). But if Google really does try to "attack" traditional media, these two companies and others will be waiting with their arms open--a fair, reasonable Internet partner who doesn't want to doesn't want to see the media glory days come to an end."
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