NBC buys iVillage — which has been standing on the corner like a floosie with a big pricetag for sometime now — for $600 million. I’m not sure I get it — that is, I’m not sure what addition this brings GE strategically. When the NY Times Company bought About.com (full disclosure: I consult there), it got a cut of search advertising and search engine optimization expertise. When Dow Jones bought Marketwatch, it got the traffic it couldn’t generate behind its pay wall to sell the advertising it was leaving on the table. When News Corp. bought MySpace, it got a new relationship with the public and a new means of promoting and probably creating entertainment. In the latest old media/new media mashup, NBC buys a content site with lots of forums and horoscope traffic at a high price. This feels more like a mini (and much less harmful) version of Time Warner and AOL: trying to buy the online strategy you missed out on. Or what am I missing?
Jeff Pulver turns the amusing saga of the Bell boomerang into a Dr. Seuss saga.
I do not like the
Internet so well.
All my rivals
yell, yell, yell.
I will not have these guys about.
When they come in
I’ll put them out.
Michael (MP3.com) Robertson’s SIPphone and Gizmo Project just got a big investment led by my friend Ed Sim at Dawntreader (full disclosures: Ed and I were on the board of Moreover together and I’m advising on his next fund). Om (Scoop) Malik has more details, of course. What I’m waiting for is to see phoning become more than phoning and I think that’s on the way from Skype, Gizmo, et al. It’s not about calls. It’s about connectivity, the whole world on push-to-talk if I want to talk to them.
Some laughed when Bob Pittman bought controlling interest in Daily Candy for $3.5 million. Now, says the Journal, it will sell for $100 million.
Without costs for printing or the need for much editorial product, Daily Candy boasts margins of nearly 60%, say people familiar with the matter. The hope for 2006 is that the business will produce revenue somewhere less than $20 million, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization in the low-teen millions, these people say.
There’s a syncopation at work here. Email is still hot with advertisers, who finally understand it, and so they value it and pay. They will understand and value the distributed web next.
The pissing match over the British National Union of Journalists effort to slap a code of conduct on newspaper relations with bloggers and citizens is getting pissier. Neil McIntosh takes apart NUJ old fogie Adam Christie when he tries to take apart Emily Bell’s taking apart of the witless witness code. Here’s the best bit, from Christie:
I came away from last week’s Roundtable event feeling very old. Apart from Bill Hagerty, I think I may well have been the oldest there. The largely young contingent representing The Guardian did not seem to have seen a broader picture, or the “fanzine revolution” of the 70s, when Letraset and cheap photocopying caused many similar concerns as those we are seeing today. Their (lack of ) appreciation of history and their proximity to what they are doing worries me.
The poor old sod thinks the internet is a newfangled mimeograph machine. Reading this guy is like a fountain of youth.