Here’s the question of the day!
Is Google a media company or a tech company – or is it possible for them to be both?
There’s news out today that Google has sold their underperforming radio ad business to WideOrbit Inc. The reason being is to cut costs and jettison underperforming operations.
This sounds like a something that a media (or advertising company would do).
Now look at Google Adwords revenue per year – $21 billion in 2008 (source). I would also say that those are numbers that only a media company would post.
However, looking at the tech side of the argument, there are Google properties that have nothing to do with generating revenue. For example:
* Google News – there are no ads being served on Google News, yet they (being Google) make every effort to serve the latest news and information from authoritative sources. I guess Google News could be argued as being a facilitator of traffic to sites that are currently serving Google Ads – sort of a “let me help you get more traffic so more of our ads can be viewed.”
* Google Apps – the free version of Google Apps does serve ads in the Gmail portion – but what about the Enterprise versions? They don’t serve ads, and although you have to pay for the service, is this something that a media company would be doing? To me, Google Apps sounds a lot like a tech company.
Anyway, with the selling of the Google radio unit today, it swings the pendulum back in the direction of – Google is a media company who exists to make money from advertisers.