Google Acquires dMarc Broadcasting, Strategic Thinkers Rejoice

Finally, someone in the AGILEAMY crowd has done a meaningful strategic deal.  Google announced that they acquired dMarc Broadcasting today for $102 million cash and up to $1.1 billion of contingent cash payments over the next three years.  Thank god someone finally did something more than acquire a few engineers, some technology, or a minor add-on to something they already did, but not so well.  I was getting tired of hearing about all the sub $30 million “flip” deals that were “about to happen” and the new, exciting, and trendy prediction that “a crash of Web 2.0 companies is coming.”

Google’s acquisition is bold, smart, and completely logical if you step back and look at their business.  As we all know, Google sells advertising.  They are now expanding into audio and video.  Hmmm.  How about if we sell advertising on audio (that would be the radio – yeah – I know – there’s this thing called podcasting.)  Google states clearly why they bought dMarc:

“Google is committed to exploring new ways to extend targeted, measurable advertising to other forms of media,” said Tim Armstrong, vice president of Advertising Sales, Google. “We anticipate that this acquisition will bring new ad dollars and accountability to radio by combining Google’s expansive network of advertisers with dMarc’s talented team and innovative radio advertising technology. We look forward to working together to continue to grow and improve the ecosystem of the radio industry.”

Got it – simple and strategic.  I have no idea if this was a smart economic deal for Google – I’ll leave that for the financial analysts to prognosticate about. 

Now – how about video advertising?  Nick Grouf just launched SpotRunner and it appears his timing of this trend is right on the money.  While Google, et. al. could “build this”, why not just wade in and keep making aggressive moves now?  Oops – SpotRunner says “Beta” on it – eek – Nick – launch already!

Oh – did anyone notice that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought Business Wire today?  Ponder that one.

  • Kudos to Google for its search technology and strategic acquisitions but with all the fanfare around Google admittedly it has done little to serve the needs of advertisers. Keyword based targeting is quite useful but overture came up with tha idea. Agreed, without the popularity of “googling” that ad model would not have gained any signficance but still it is not Google’s baby. Further, Google pushing the same ads into content network was very much monopolistic (they had the huge advertiser base so they could do that). There was no ad “sense” as such in showing text ads on the content pages. Now they are allowing image ads but then where is the innovation (charging model is CPM. It is same as the banner ad which existed from 95). So Google has yet to show us innovation in ad technology. Unfortunately, they have monopoly over web traffic, one of the finest portal (aol), and now they are expanding their wings into video content and advertising network. I fear Google may provide the best services to consumers but throttle the advertisers without giving meaningful returns. We hear Google click costs are just absurd (especially, in top markets such as SF Bay Area) Without innovative technology on ad front, Google might become an elite field for brand adverisements and corporate campaigns (including eBay/ etc) and no longer be a direct marketing medium for majority of small businesses.

    Keith Hollins
    All About Quality Service Pros

  • Brad I understand that spotrunner is offline TV ads not online. The pent-up demand is with rich online advertising. We are developing a network for video, audio, pictures and text (distributed via Omnidrive) which makes it much smarter, easier and targetted for the advertisers.

    I can’t see anybody getting close to dominating this market, and I don’t understand why the new services only handle one type of advertising media instead of all (so to run a ‘360’ campaign an advertiser will need accounts at a number of different places and try to manage them all)

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