Nov 6 2006

A Tale of Two Strategies

A Tale of Two Strategies

Two headlines right next to each other in today’s Wall Street Journal tell an interesting story.  First, they tell of Google’s strategy to allow advertisers to use Google’s web site to bid on and buy print advertising in over 50 leading newspapers. Then comes CBS’s strategy to bring in a new executive digital media M&A guru, Quincy Smith from Allen & Company, to “find the next YouTube.”

(These links should work for a week, but I think that’s all the Journal allows – sorry!).

So there you have it.  CBS’ grand interactive plans are about trying to do value-based Internet acquisitions.  Best of luck.  Les Moonves’ quote is somewhat sad — “This shows how serious we are about new media.”

All that against a backdrop of Google probably dropping three engineers and a case of Jolt Cola into a room for a week and coming up with an automated way of buying print ads in newspapers whose circulations are declining precipitously.  Eric Schmidt’s quote is equally interesting for its contrast to Moonves:  “Anything that we can do to improve the economic efficiency of the old model [of advertising] transfers money from the old model to the new model.”

Now to be fair, Google did say that eventually they would have 1,000 people working on offline media placements, 10% of its workforce, but they will probably grow their way there profitably, instead of turning into a private equity firm.