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Who Owns What: Media v2.0

Think Murdoch's acquisition of the Dow Jones properties is scary? Then you haven't taken a look at Google's scorecard lately.

In the past year, Google has been hunting prospects and nabbing some of the most innovative communications tools out there. Among the group: GrandCentral, Feedburner, Panoramio, Tonic Systems, Adscape Media...the list goes on.

A few weeks back, I started compiling lists of major media companies and their acquisitions. I'm usually not surprised to hear that a deal's gone through...the DoubleClick announcement didn't rock the digital media world. But when I look at the companies in aggregate form, that gives me pause.

We're so darn concerned about what Rupert will do to the Journal, what will happened to Times Select next, whether or not reporters should be allowed to blog that we're losing sight of the bigger picture.

The central figure in that picture is Google, which by the way is hedging $4 billion to gain open access to the wireless spectrum.

The future of media isn't only about content, it's about delivery. While jurnos are busy bickering about whether or not to allow visitor comments on their websites, other companies are moving full-speed ahead with radically different business models. They're thinking broadly: aggregator + search + content + mobile + gaming = sustainability.

So strike that paragraph above. It is about content, and content will ultimately save journalism. It seems to me that the smartest thing for us to do is to develop alternative ways to communicate news to consumers - and to think about convergence in terms of broad media consumption, rather than paper-broadcast partnerships.

The Who Owns What v2.0 chart is downloadable here. Pin it to your cubicle wall...then take a few aspirin. It's going to be an interesting few years ahead.

(And if you notice a correction, please let me know. The chart doesn't have every acquisition - there wasn't enough space.)



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