Monday, September 12, 2005

The New Dot-Com Buying Boom: Going After Valuable Content

The Washington Post covers the online buying frenzy this year in media, as predicted in Shore's annual outlook. The WaPo article focuses on the value of About.com, a property purchased by The New York Times for a cool $410 million in March. Much of the About.com content gets a little static compared to a newspaper or weblog-driven publications but when topics such as Hurricane Katrina take hold of events the About.com docent for New Orleans becomes an important clearing house for useful information and the model comes to life harvesting both professional and user-generated media that makes a difference. Besides being money-makers in their own right, the new generation of acquisitions largely focus on that intersection of professional and user-generated media, as opposed to the rash of magazine title acquisitions lately which seem to be trying to gather dwindling audiences for professionally-produced print and online media. Somehow the online service buyers seem to have the game figured. What a simple concept - buy what's going to produce a new base of content inexpensively while leveraging more costly-to-produce content more effectively in more contexts. Makes you think that we have some smart people in the content industry, doesn't it...?
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