Brad Feld

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Google Acquires dMarc Broadcasting, Strategic Thinkers Rejoice

Jan 17, 2006
Category Random

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.