Dada’s 7 reasons why Google should buy The New York TimesIn the wake of Google’s buyout of Youtube, Susan Mernit has written that Google did well to buy Youtube and all its new media goodness. Susan says Google would do well to ignore mainstream brands like The Times. She says,
… after a year in operation, YouTube reportedly has 50MM users worldwide, while after 100+ years in operation, the NYTimes has what, 20MM(12 MM registered, plus another 8...)
I would venture out on a limb and put my case for the big old lady.
1. The Times has timeless value and more. Robin has this to say about NYT:
Unlike YouTube, The New York Times (and all the newspapers, radio and tv stations it owns), however, has an established brand, business, audience that is older and less fickle and more wise and far more loyal. It has longevity, it has staff, it has - for lack of better word - long standing momentum and earning potential. Can that all come to an end?
Need I say more?
2. NYT has a strong online component, the NYT Digital. It is a solid profit making operation. I think it needs Google’s Ranking- goodness (read SEO) to make sure its pages are well ranked in comparison with blogs. The Times has tones of well written, well-researched pages on all sorts of topics, which may give blogs a run for their money. Google already has a ongoing text ad placement deal with NYT.
3. Google also gets About.com which NYT bought for $400 million in 2005. About.com covers more than 400 plus profitable topics. Google also gets more place to place its ads.
4. Google can also give usability mojo to NYT. The NYT site is well-designed but I think Google knows better about usability and reader preferences.
5. I am thinking Google Local plus NYT locals, or, Google Base plus NYT locals. Unlike WSJ and USA Today, NYT is not a big force outside the greater New York Area. The two companies can create local sites with Google base- like functionality and give Craigslist a run for its money. It is well known that Local news and Local classifieds are the future for newspapers. IMHO Yahho local is better than Google Local.
6. With the NYT purchase, Google gets more Madison Avenue cred. For long, Google has wanted to do something ‘valuable’ in the Print Ad business and NYT scores in this area. NYT is a great branding tool too. Many say Google Adsense doesn’t build brands. Well, NYT advertising does.
7. Finally, I am thinking Google Adwords +NYT + AOl + Google Checkout. Already, Google owns 5% of AOL. It is looking to position its Checkout payments service against Paypal. This might worry eBay.
Having put my case, I agree with Robin: The NYT board and investors would not probably sell out to Google. Disregarding Google’s $11 billion war chest, they wouldn’t like to sell the 100-year brand which still has plenty of energy left in it.