Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Friday, August 24, 2021

playas and haters
When examining the business of media — which I’ve been known to do — an indispensable reference has been the “Who Owns What” guide. Diligently maintained for years by the folks at the Columbia Journalism Review, “Who Owns What” gives a quick snapshot of the bigger companies in the U.S. market and what familiar magazines, newspapers, TV outlets, etc. they hold (and continue to acquire during an age of increasing media consolidation).

But. Where are the online media bigshots? Curiously, the CJR list disregards most of the usual suspects in that space. So Amy L. Webb cooked up a reference chart detailing the Internet media clusters compiled by Google, IAC and the like.

I commend Webb for doing the research. I had forgotten about a lot of these deals, and seeing them grouped together grants valuable context. However, I have to fault her for releasing this research only as an easy-to-print image file (full-size version available via clicking the image above) — and thus, not at all search-engine optimizable. Text is what spreads the word via searchbots! And so, I’ve taken the liberty of typing up her list.

Webb includes a disclaimer that the rosters she’s put together are not necessarily comprehensive or fully accurate. I’m not going to fact-check her work, but in the course of transcribing it, I’ve corrected where I knew correction was needed, and indicated those instances with an *asterisk. I’m not claiming 100 percent accuracy here either, but for a quick reference, this will do.

Similarly, you could argue other companies deserve to be on this list: Viacom, Amazon, eBay, etc. It starts to get murky when you have to decide what is or isn’t a “media” company or application (Skype? Last.fm?). There’s room for interpretation. The connecting thread is that these are the action agents in shaping, to a large degree, how the emerging media landscape will look.

One nitpick I must point out: Webb presents AOL/America Online as an independent Web player. This is not at all the case: AOL is a wholly-owned unit of Time Warner, which itself is a long-established media behemoth. This isn’t the only instance of AOL being presented as an acquiring company; indeed, the tech press seems to persist in thinking that it’s calling its own shots, business-wise. I’m guessing this is a residual misconception from when AOL effected a merger with the previous incarnation of Time Warner in 1998, in effect purchasing the old-media company. While AOL and its management was in control of the combined AOL Time Warner entity at first, that all changed after the dot-com bubble burst. Over the course of a few years, the old guard TW management ousted the legacy AOL managers, and the result was basically a reestablishment of the old Time Warner corporate structure by 2005 (signified by the company dropping “AOL” from its name, going back to the traditional “Time Warner”). So, while I’ve left AOL on the chart, it should be clear that we’re really talking about Time Warner as the Internet mover-and-shaker, regardless of business-unit labels.

With that, the rundown:


HSN – Home Shopping Network (1997)
Ticketmaster – (1998)
CitySearch – Online city guides (1998)
Hotel Reservation Network – Became Hotels.com (1999)
uDate.com – Dating service (2002)
Expedia – Travel site (2003)
Lending Tree – Loans and banking site (2003)
Hotwire – Discount travel engine (2003)
RealEstate.com – Real estate search system (2003)
TripAdvisor – Discount travel site (2004)
HomeLoanCenter – Loans and banking (2005)
*Ask Jeeves – Search engine, substantially rebranded into Ask.com (2005)
Shoebuy.com – Shoe retailer (2006)
CollegeHumor.com – Humor and entertainment site
Evite – Online invitation management system
Gifts.com – Retail site
Match.com – Dating site

AOL (Time Warner)
GNN – Global News Navigator (1995)
Mirabilis – Created ICQ (1998)
Nullsoft – Made Winamp (1999)
*Netscape – Search engine, actually a software company that released the first viable Web browser, later morphed into Web services brand including ISP and news aggregator (1999)
Moviefone – Movie information/ticket ordering (1999)
Mapquest – Online mapping tool (2000)
Singingfish – Early audio/video search engine (2003)
Advertising.com – Online ad agency (2004)
MailBlocks – Web-based email service (2004)
Sdrive – Online file sharing/storage (2005)
*Weblogs – Blog-based news media network (2005)
Truveo – Video search company (2005)
Userplane – Social networking software provider (2006)
GameDaily – Online gaming site (2006)
ADTECH – Online adserving company (2006)

Sold.com – Prototype online auction site (2001)
HotJobs – Jobs site (2002)
*Inktomi – Software for search engine infrastructure (2002)
Overture – Search marketing tools (2003)
Internet Assistant – Browser object for IE (2004)
Kelkoo – UK/Europe shopping site (2004)
MusicMatch – Digital mp3 jukebox/store (2004)
WUF Networks – Digital file transfer tool (2004)
Verdisoft – Software development company (2005)
Ludicorp Research – Flickr (2005)
Stadeon – Cross-platform gaming backend (2005)
Konfabulator – Early widget platform (2005)
Upcoming.org – Online calendar (2005)
Whereonearth – Embedded ads for maps (2005)
Del.icio.us – Online social bookmarking app (2005)
SearchFox – RSS reader (2006)
Meedio – Applications for PC, DVR and home (2006)
Kenet Works – Online communities (2006)
Bix.com – Online games (2006)
Wretch – Taiwanese social networking (2006)
MyBlogLog – Widget for blogs (2007)
Right Media – Online advertising exchange (2007)
Rivals.com – College sports news site (2007)

MICROSOFT (acquisitions post-2005 only)
aQuantive Inc. – Global digital advertising and marketing (2007)
ScreenTonic – Mobile advertising (2007)
Tellme Networks – Digital voice solutions (2007)
Softricity Inc. – Virtualization and streaming (2006)
Massive Inc. – In-game advertising (2006)
Vexcel – Satellite imaging (2006)
Onfolio – Internet search (2006)
GeoTango – 3D mapping (2005)
MediaStreams – VoIP (2005)

Intermix Media – MySpace (2005)
IGN Entertainment – Gaming (2005)
Jamba – Ringtone company (2005)
Photobucket – Photo sharing (2007)
Dow Jones/WSJ.com - Financial news (2007)

*Deja.com – Legacy Usenet archive/database, integrated into Google Groups (2001)
Pyra Labs – Blogger.com/BlogSpot (2003)
*Neotonic Software – Customer relationship management (CRM) email software (2003)
*Applied Semantics – Search and advertising optimization software (2003)
*Sprinks – Online advertising network (2003)
Kaltix Corp. – Context sensitive search (2003)
Genius Labs – Blogging platform (2003)
Ignite Logic – Web templates for law firms (2004)
Picasa – Digital photo management (2004)
*Keyhole Group – Digital mapping, basis for Google Earth and Google Maps (2004)
Where 2 Technologies – Digital mapping (2004)
ZipDash – Maps and traffic for mobile devices (2004)
2Web Technologies – Spreadsheets (2005)
*Urchin – Web metrics/analytics (2005)
Dodgeball – Mobile social networking (2005)
Reqwireless Inc. – Java browser (2005)
Current Communications Group – Broadband Internet (2005)
Android – Software for mobile phone operating system (2005)
Transformic Inc. – Search engine for deep/invisible Web (2005)
Skia – Graphics software engineering (2005)
dMarc Broadcasting – Digital radio broadcasting (2006)
Measure Map – Analytics for blogs (2006)
Upstartle – Writely, document editor for the Web (2006)
@Last Software – SketchUp 3D modeling (2006)
Orion – Referral search engine (2006)
Neven Vision – Automatic information extraction from jpgs (2006)
Jotspot Inc. – Wiki platform for websites (2006)
*YouTube – Online video hosting community (2006)
Endoxon – Geomapping software (2006)
Xunlei – Filesharing app for the Web (2007)
Adscape Media – In-game advertising (2007)
Gapminder’s Trendanalyzer – Presentation software (2007)
Doubleclick – Ad platform for the Web (2007)
Tonic Systems – Document conversion technology (2007)
Marratech – Video conferencing technology (2007)
Green Border Technologies Inc. – Secure Web browsing technology (2007)
Panoramio – Photo site sharing for Google Earth (2007)
Feedburner – RSS feed distribution analytics and management (2007)
GrandCentral – Mobile voice management (2007)
Postini – Communications security and compliance (2007)

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/24/2007 05:28 PM
Category: Business, Internet, Media
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Not that it’s terribly hard to get a political mudslinging session started, but here’s one way:

Extract a minor demographic detail from a recent Associated Press-Ipsos public opinion poll that indicates one-quarter of Americans don’t read any books:

There was even some political variety evident, with Democrats and liberals typically reading slightly more books than Republicans and conservatives.

Next, take that partisan factoid and wave it like raw meat under the nose of an outspoken former liberal Democrat Congresswoman:

“The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a couple slogans: ‘No, don’t raise my taxes, no new taxes,’” Pat Schroeder, president of the American Association of Publishers, said in a recent interview. “It’s pretty hard to write a book saying, ‘No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes’ on every page.”

Finally, extrapolate that into a characterization of the book publishing industry as laden with liberals, thus producing tomes that are alienable to the conservative masses.

Voila! Liberals second the idea of simplemindedly dittoheaded conservatives, and right-wingers deride lefties as obfuscating eggheads.

Now pardon me as I go crack open a new novel…

by Costa Tsiokos, Fri 08/24/2007 08:45 AM
Category: Politics, Publishing
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