Are you as tired of the Microsoft-Yahoo news as I am? I hope that I will soon be able to include an article about a finalized buyout in an upcoming Web Week in Review episode just so that I can call the nightmare over.
That said, I had to include one Microsoft-Yahoo news article in this week's Web Week in Review.
The drama intensifies. Yahoo, which many think will eventually have little choice but to merge with Microsoft, is reportedly talking with AOL about a deal.
And Rupert Murdoch, who had previously indicated that News Corp. wouldn't bid, is apparently at the table talking with Microsoft about a joint bid. Although it's still unclear what the Microsoft-News Corp.-Yahoo deal might look like, such a combination could bring together three of the internet's largest players under one roof.
As noted by Reuters, an AOL deal, which is rumored to involve the entire AOL business excluding the dial-up internet access division, probably lacks the ability to excite shareholders who would benefit most in the immediate term by taking Microsoft's money.
But Yahoo doesn't necessarily seem to be thinking logically about the situation. For a company that has tried to convince shareholders that it has a bright future, the news that it is testing Google ads alongside its search results is hard to interpret as a sign of anything other than desperation.
I'm all for negotiation, but Yahoo's resistance of Microsoft's offer isn't doing the company any good at this point. I still believe it should take the money and run.
Hulu, the online video service operated as a joint venture between NBC Universal and News. Corp, has sold out its advertising inventory according to NBC Universal president Jeff Zucker.
Zucker credits Hulu's success in selling advertising to the fact that advertisers know the quality of the content their ads will be appearing with.
"Advertisers want to be on something where you know what you get and not on something where you could be advertising [next to a video of] a cat on a skateboard."
Silicon Valley Insider points out that Hulu doesn't have a vast inventory but with estimated CPMs of $60 to $70, it doesn't necessarily need the type of bloated inventory a less saleable property, like YouTube, does.
I'd venture to guess that NBC Universal and News Corp. are pleased with the initial performance of Hulu.
I'd also venture to guess that Eric Schmidt would sell his organs to get CPMs of $60 to $70 on YouTube.
Following on the heels of its announcement of MySpace Music, the world's most popular social network, which is now billing itself as "Hollywood's digital playground," has announced a deal with ShineReveille International to have its video content distributed overseas for television.
Although quarterlife, which debuted on MySpace, flopped as a network television show, MySpace clearly sees potential in using leveraging its platform as "an alternative pilot process" through which new original shows can be tested and developed.
The company already has a number original content projects ongoing both in the United States and overseas.
MySpace's moves highlight the fact that the company is operating more like a media company and less like a social network.
While the outcome of this strategy is unknown, I think it makes significant sense. MySpace's media initiatives are creating and will create monetization opportunities that are probably far more lucrative than the monetization opportunities that exist for a social network alone.
MySpace's development is interesting to me. While Facebook seems to capture all the attention in Silicon Valley, in my opinion, the differences between the way the two companies operate makes it increasingly difficult to call them pure competitors.
Facebook's approach essentially dictates that the company will live or die based on its ability to build an advertising platform that can be monetized effectively.
MySpace, on the other hand, is building a revenue model that more closely resembles an integrated media property than a standalone internet property, meaning it has less pressure to figure out how to turn a standalone social network into a potent internet advertising vehicle.
It's also worth noting the significant differences between the companies when it comes to "going global." Facebook has essentially relied on users to translate Facebook into other languages, whereas MySpace has formed relationships with local players and has set up local offices. Long-term, I think MySpace's strategy makes the most sense.
"Cybercrime" is now estimated to be a $200 billion a year business according to security firm F-Secure. This means that cybercrime now rivals "the illicit markets for drug trafficking and money laundering."
Who said that monetization on the internet has to be difficult?
All you have to do is dump your unprofitable Web 2.0 startup with several hundred thousand registered users and trade it in for a botnet with the same number of compromised machines.
You'll not only make money, you won't have to deal with the whining when you roll out a new feature that the "community" doesn't like.
Flush with cash from investors who have valued it at $15 billion, Facebook is rumored to be close to finalizing a settlement with founder Mark Zuckerberg's former Harvard classmates who alleged that the paper billionaire stole the idea (and possibly original code) for a social network for college students.
While the terms of the settlement haven't been released and probably won't be, it is almost certain that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg will admit no wrongdoing, leaving everybody to wonder whether the awkward computer geek some have compared to Bill Gates is a technology genius or an opportunistic and dishonest person.
I personally could care less. I want to know if Mark Zuckerberg is a magician. After all, it just might take one to turn Facebook into a business valued by the public markets at $15 billion.