What Google and News Corp. Paid $2 Billion For

What these two highly strategic companies spent more than $2 billion on is a couple of empty vessels: brand-named, centralized repositories for whatever their members decide to contribute.

All that material is “user-generated content,” the paramount cultural buzz phrase of 2006. It’s a term that must appeal to the technocratic instincts of investors. I prefer something a little more old-fashioned: self-expression. Terminology aside, this will be remembered as the year that the old-line media mogul, the online media titan and millions of individual Web users agreed: It demands attention.

It’s on Web sites like YouTube, MySpace, Dailymotion, PureVolume, GarageBand and Metacafe. It’s homemade art independently distributed and inventively promoted. It’s borrowed art that has been warped, wrecked, mocked and sometimes improved. It’s blogs and open-source software and collaborative wikis and personal Web pages. It’s word of mouth that can reach the entire world.
NY Times: 2006, Brought to You by You

The economic upside isn’t in selling more records, tshirts or other stuff, but rather in creating the compelling, thriving locations for user-generated content.

Virtual Venues Reloaded

1 Comment »

  1. […] You are now officially Time magazine’s Man of the Year! They are right on in saying that this is because “you control the information age”. The message to business is clear and strong. I had noted previously that user-contributed content is key, but John Winsor cuts to the chase: If you don’t form a community around your brand, chances are you’ll loose your customer’s attention to somebody else. The rule is: Stay engaged or die! Why Did Google Buy YouTube? […]

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