What is the reasoning behind this ? The primary goal is not the destruction of the tiny little rest of diversity of opinion, which is left in Germany's mainstream media, as one might think. No, the reason lies somewhere else, as Dr. Mathias Döpfner - Chairman and CEO of Axel Springer - pointed out during a press conference on Friday (Source: Bloomberg.com):
"We are the number one in print, ProSiebenSat.1 is the number one in TV - this will enable us to defy our real competitors of the future - EBay, Google and Yahoo."Excuse me ?
He is buying a big no-brain-needed TV network, puts it together with his no-brain-needed newspaper business and thinks he is ready to compete with some of the most innovative organizations on this planet ?
He's got to be kidding !?
I mean, we are talking about a publishing company whose "flagship website" still looks like one of Jakob Nielsen's most violent nightmares. And when I remember it correctly, Mr. Döpfner, when he became CEO of Axel Springer, put somebody in charge of electronic media there, who in an interview after his appointment, prided himself on not having a computer in his office, because he didn't think that this whole internet stuff is all that exciting !!
I could be wrong. But my guess is that Mr. Döpfner has never used Flickr, doesn't know why Google Maps is a brilliant strategy and will never really grok the philosophy behind Wikipedia. And I am pretty sure he thinks a long tail usually comes with a big dog. All he probably knows is that Google is earning billions and that he wants a piece of that pie.
Mr. Döpfner and his colleagues are still very much living in the last millennium. And I am afraid they will use all the clout of their new media giant to keep most of the German people right there with them. That certainly scares me ! But I really can't see anything Google or Yahoo should be afraid of.
When should Google et al. start worrying ? The moment Dr. Döpfner stops giving pompous press conferences and starts blogging...
Tags: Media Concentration, Axel Springer, Google, Yahoo