Word of Google’s plan to buy Next New and fold it into YouTube surfaced in December.
Like YouTube, for most of its life, Next New has been long on hits, short on profits. As the company celebrated its one-billionth pageview last July, former CEO Lance Podell said that he was still having to educate advertisers on the value of web video. One issue there is that even though online video continues to be one of the fastest growing parts of internet advertising, it will still remain a sliver of the industry’s total revenues. Last summer, eMarketer estimated that U.S. online video ad spend will rise 48.1 percent in 2010 to $1.5 billion.
Still, last week, the WSJ reported that Google was willing to spend “tens of millions of dollars” to acquire New York-based Next New.
While Google execs have claimed that YouTube has been close to profitability, they’ve avoided specifics. It’s hard to say what Next New would add to YouTube by bringing its production capabilities to Google (NSDQ: GOOG). The search giant has often said it’s not a media company, but Google has been known to make less than subtle shifts when something suits its needs. To be sure, it would help the company to have a few homegrown hits as it seeks to take Next New’s old definition of itself as “the new TV network.”