Google is a breath mint, no Google is a candy mint: Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, responds to the LA Times question, “Is Google a media company or a technology company?:
“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 — 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.”
Is it just that time of year? Last year on the rexblog, I was tracking a similar meme. Last year, I said the following, however there were lots of other folks on other blogs who made convincing arguments why Google is a media company. Here’s what I blogged on June 13, 2005:
“It can be confusing to those who want to declare any company that derives the largest portion of its revenue from advertising a “media company,” but it’s just not. Nor should they want to be. Google can make lots more money doing what it’s doing than any media company can. They serve media companies and will pump hundreds of millions of dollars of revenues into the coffers of media companies this year, and, in some niche cases, compete with the media industry, but they are not a media company.
However, they can be categorized as a marketing-communication services company. They can be categorized as a media services company. They can be categorized as a technology company. And some of their products can be classified “new media.”
But calling them a “media company” and comparing them to Time Warner is a mischaracterization of their business and displays a misunderstanding of what they do and what a media company does.
This year, my point-of-view has evolved. Now I believe the following: Every company is a media company. Every person is a media person. Get over it.
Update: John Battelle: “…media businesses, in the main, command far lower valuations on Wall Street than technology businesses.”
(Which reminds me, have I mentioned Hammock Publishing is no longer a media business, but is now a technology business?)