Monday, 30 March 2009

The Future of Information Business – Google

Digitized 'information business' is a hard one. There are more losers than winners. Many old business models and even industries are in ruins or at least in jeopardy, because of the internet, and the ongoing economic downturn. The shift of the advertisements from the newspapers into the net has been especially dramatic, and disastrous for the print media in the U.S.

What has not changed is the need for information, and advertising has proved to be the best source of revenues for the old and new media companies. In digitized world the most convenient and efficient way to find information is to use search engines and their algorithms. The winner of this game, so far, has been Google (including the founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin) from Mountain View, California. According to the Financial Times (27.3.2009) search advertising business is holding up far better in the recession than other forms of online advertising, being more precise $10.5 billion for 2008, up 20% (WSJ, 30.3.2009).

It is paradoxical that Google with its mission and ambition to share all world’s information for free has been one of the most secret companies in the world. It took years for reporters to enter for the first time to the Googleplex. According to The New York Times (14.6.2006) Google's inclination to secrecy began in its days as a private company in an effort to keep its rivals from determining the profits it was making from Web search advertising. But since that its culture of secrecy has grown to pervade virtually all of itsdealings with the news media and even its business partners.

It can be argued that the future of the information business is Google. As media entrepreneur Jeff Jarvis has said “Google defines the new digital economy” (The Guardian, 17.11.2008). Therefore, we need continuously, and critically, research what Google is doing, and what are the impacts and implications of its maneuvers in information business. There is a genuine danger that Google starts act like an information monopoly if not challenged or regulated.

Table: MediaPost, 31.3.2009
(C) Photo by Turo Uskali, 12.5.2006 @ Google Press Day

Latest News

Daily Telegraph: Google under investigation for alleged breach of EU competition rules (24.2.2010)

"A Paris court has found Google guilty of copyright infringement in a ruling which could have ramifications for its plans to digitise the world's books. - - This court case will be seen as a victory for critics of the plan who fear Google is creating a monopoly over information. "
BBC News: Fine for Google over French books (18.12.2009)
Surge in search innovation.

CEO, Eric Schmidt: “The brutal economic answer is that the Internet does in fact change other people’s businesses because of this massive distribution.”
The New York Times: How Good (or Not Evil) Is Google? (21.6.2009) Google Reinvents Email, Docs with 'Google Wave' (28.5.2009)
Google (DEMO): Google Waves (1.6.2009, 120 min)
The NYT:
Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon (31.5.2009)

"Google's co-founder, Larry Page, admitted today that the company has been losing out to Twitter in the race to meet web user's demand for real-time information."
The Guardian: Google 'falling behind Twitter' (19.5.2009)

The Guardian: Google faces antitrust investigation over $125m book deal (29.4.2009)
Forbes: Why Google Is The New Pirate Bay (17.4.2009)

"Spending on US search advertising will decline this year, the first time the market – dominated by Google – has faced a serious downturn, analysts predict."
FT: Search ad spending predicted to fall (9.4.2009)

The newspaper industry can dig itself out of trouble – but only if it starts innovating. - - Turmoil in the print industry was the result of newspapers failing to keep up with the pace of change – and ignoring their readers' wishes."
The Guardian:
Newspapers must keep innovating, says Google chief Eric Schmidt

"Google's net income in 2008 was $22 billion, just under half of the entire newspaper industry (roughly $45 billion). Newspapers operated at 10 to 11 percent margins, Google at roughly 20 percent."
The Biz Blog/Poynter:
Google CEO Should Pledge Help at NAA; AP Targets Aggregators (6.4.2009)

BuzzMachine/Jeff Jarvis:
Why Google should want Twitter: Currency (5.4.2009)

Forbes: Murdoch Wants A Google Rebellion (3.4.2009)
Google Starts Venture Capital Fund (31.3.2009)

WSJ: Google Aims to Connect Ads for TV, YouTube (27.3.2009)
LAT: Google changes search results, snippets (24.3.2009)

Latest Interviews

"We are advertising company."

"We think the 20 percent time is really the only way that we have been able to maintain our innovations as we get larger."

Charlie Rose: Google CEO Eric Schmidt (Video, 6.3.2009)

Latest Comments:

"I urged Google to come up with a revenue-share plan using Google News as a platform and opening the ad spigot. It would benefit itself by turning on another revenue source, and help news publishers by paying them according to the number of clicks through to their content by Google News users.

Steve Outing: How can newspapers help Google? (12.4.2009)

Eric Schonfeld (TechCrunch/WP):
Does Google Really Control The News? (11.4.2009)


Auletta, Ken. 2009. Googled. The End of the World as We Know It. The Penguin Press, New York.
The New York Review Of Books/Robert Darnton
(12.2.2009): Google & the Future of Books
Jarvis, Jeff. 2009. What Would Google Do?
Vise. A. David & Malseed, Mark. 2006.
The Google Story: Inside the Hottest Business, Media, and Technology Success of Our Time.
Battelle, John. 2005. The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture.

1 comment:

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