Time Inc. consistently makes impressive double-digit profit margins and is considered by many a good media business, a still-growing company with as-yet-unlocked potential synergy with the rest of the Time Warner operation. Yet everyone from the Time & Life Building to Wall Street and Nebraska keeps on wondering when the property is going to be dealt.
It's official: Johnson & Johnson has put its $3 billion global media-buying and -planning account into review. A global media review has been anticipated since J&J began the $16.6 billion acquisition of Pfizer's over-the counter drug and personal-care business in October 2006.
The allure of consumer-generated content -- and the ad revenue it could generate -- has fueled two of the biggest deals in the digital space, Google's $1.6 billion YouTube purchase and News Corp.'s $580 million MySpace buy. The next space for user-generated content to conquer: the mobile phone.
While there are obvious caveats with any measure of Internet audience—the FIM number includes properties besides MySpace, and Yahoo has some social-networking sites—the numbers show where the prevailing traffic winds are blowing. They are going in the direction of properties that allow users to connect with other users and create their own content. For advertisers and media buyers, the next step should be to simply follow the eyeballs and soon a proportionate number of ad dollars will flow toward MySpace and its competitors.