How ironic was the $900 million deal between Google and Fox Interactive Media? Google was to be the “exclusive provider of text-based advertising and keyword targeted ads through its AdSense program, for inventory on Fox Interactive Media’s network”. I now think it was the initial move on the way towards purchasing YouTube. I think they were in talks all along. Google realized that MySpace sent atleast 60% all its traffic. Before they purchased the site I guarantee they assured Fox they were going to clean it up. Here’s the conversation. “Google: Whaddya say about us taking over YouTube and cleaning it up. We already do the video thing and could add it to our GoogleWorld” Fox: “We’re cool with that but you better clean it up or we won’t sleep with you” Google: “Done, now can we be responsible for all your ad delivery if we give you a higher percentage than everyone else? Fox: “Sounds good, I’ll call Yahoo and tell them the bad news” Poor Yahoo. They had all the print ad and were behind in the whole “video” thing. Now they are behind in about every category of the Internet available. If Google could get their message boards going they could virtually wipe out Yahoo. Back to Fox. Does anyone realize the size of the Fox Interactive Media Network? Take a look at the sites they own? courtesy of

MySpace. Alexa rank: 6. MySpace has a user base that skews young, of course. The focus is on social networking, user-generated content (text, pictures, and video), blogging, and dating. Google has a similar site named after its internal creator, Orkut, so Google is quite familiar with the network effect. Interestingly, Orkut has grown to an Alexa rank of 24, yet there seems to be no Google advertising on it. Perhaps as Google continues to experiment on MySpace, Orkut will start to display ads too. Alexa rank: 183. IGN is a major online video game and entertainment site. The video game industry is huge, and though many of us think of gamers as people aged 7-16, there are huge numbers of credit-card-holding, mature gamers ready to buy what marketers sell. Alexa rank: 970. Google’s press release mentions Scout, but is a far larger FIM property, which, for some reason, isn’t mentioned as part of the deal. FoxSports is already in a deal with MSN. The plot thickens.

Rotten Tomatoes. Alexa rank: 658. People love movies and movie stars. Although IMDb is probably the top movie site, Rotten Tomatoes has millions of loyal review readers. Alexa rank: 786. This is a popular men’s lifestyle site.
In addition, there are a bunch of lower-ranked, niche-focused sites in the FIM network:

GameSpy: Alexa rank: 1,040

GameSpy Arcade: Alexa rank: 20,998

FilePlanet: Alexa rank: 2,336

Direct2Drive: Alexa rank: 13,994

TeamXbox: Alexa rank: 3,142

3D Gamers: Alexa rank: 5,862

GameStats: Alexa rank: 4,161,678

CheatsCodesGuides: Alexa rank: 20,266

GamerMetrics: Alexa rank: 516,813

Fox and other copyright holders now know that Google is not about to break copyright rules and are ready to jump in bed with Google as well. They now have an ever powerfull way to distribute material legally that doesn’t have to go through Apple. They will work with Google to get their promotional material on YouTube in thanks to Google cleaning up the pirated videos. Everyone is going to win but the big winners are Fox, Google, and probably as much as anyone, Adobe for their fine purchase of Macromedia.