Never before in the history of business has the collision of two industries caused so much confusion. According to CEO Eric Schmidt, Google is not in the media business:
It’s better to think of Google as a technology company. Google is run by three computer scientists, and Google is an innovator in technology in our space. We’re in the advertising business Ã¢â‚¬â€ 99% of our revenue is advertising-related. But that doesn’t make us a media company. We don’t do our own content. We get you to someone else’s content faster.
99% of their revenue is from advertising. 99%!!! And that’s not media?!?
Then what the hell is media?!?!?
According to Schmidt, being in the media business requires doing your “own content.”
Tell that to MySpace and every other site that is living off user-generated content. Sorry, News Corp, you got out of the media business when you purchased MySpace because it’s not your own content!
I don’t want to quibble over definitions — and I know the vogue business strategy right now is to try it and see what happens.
But with so much rapid disruption, the one thing that players in media/technology or technology/media (or whatever!) should count on as they get out there and experiment is that the landscape will continue to transform radically around us like some freaky sci-fi movie.
A company that makes $6 billion in ad revenue isn’t a media company.
And yet Microsoft, the Goliath of technology companies, wants to be in the media business.