Yahoo and Content

It's true that for search/platform companies like Google and Yahoo, answering the "What business are you in" question has never been harder. Potential partners ask: Are they media businesses? Software businesses? Services businesses? All three? (Answer: Yes). And as a media business, are they simply a distributor, a content…

FrtnIt’s true that for search/platform companies like Google and Yahoo, answering the “What business are you in” question has never been harder. Potential partners ask: Are they media businesses? Software businesses? Services businesses? All three? (Answer: Yes). And as a media business, are they simply a distributor, a content licensor, or a content creator? (again, the answer is: All three). It’s also true that when the mainstream press attacks this question, they are supremely conflicted in their analysis – after all, Yahoo and Google are both the enemy (stealing advertisers) and the ally (pushing traffic their way). The recent cover story in Fortune in a case in point. It gives a good overview, but…something is missing. I dunno. In the end, the story seems to turn on how Yahoo is going to give the media business competitive fits. My view of that is…and? This is a new idea? I’m far more interested in what Yahoo is actually going to do. We know that Yahoo, Google, AOL, MSN and the rest represent a new kind of fused media play. But what might they do next? That part of the equation is still unanswered….

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

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