This may be akin to the three-year-old who puts her hands over her eyes and believes she can’t be seen. … Chris Gaither sits down with Google CEO Eric Shmidt, who explains yet again why Google shouldn’t be categorized as a media company. Schmidt: “It’s better to think of Google as a technology company. Google is run by three computer scientists, and Google is an innovator in technology in our space. We’re in the advertising business — 99% of our revenue is advertising-related. But that doesn’t make us a media company. We don’t do our own content. We get you to someone else’s content faster.”
But Schmidt expects the internet industry to evolve in a way similar to the media industry instead of the PC model. “After a hundred years of consolidation, the media industries are down to five mega-media companies. It seems like every day you hear some component is sold or purchased or retargeted and transferred from one large company to another. That’s the more normal structure of large industries. We should expect that should be the eventual structure of this industry.”
John Battelle isn’t buying the self definition: “To equate Google not doing its own content with a free pass from the media company classification is, well, absurd. That presumes that media companies only make packaged goods – traditional content – and ignores the fact that the majority of media companies in a post web world (and plenty in the pre web world) are not ‘creators of content’ they are innovators in the media experience business in one way or another.”
One of the reasons Google is valued higher than, say, Yahoo, is that definition as a technology company, not a media company. Its advertising dependence suggests it won’t be long before it has to deal with being viewed as the latter.