A key question on many minds is how much, if at all, companies like Google will be able to penetrate offline media such as print, radio, and television. If they grab meaningful market-share, moreover, what will this mean for the various bottom lines (both Google's and the traditional media companies')?
This issue has many sides to it, but an important one is the perspective of companies that are competing against Google. A small public company called SoftWave Media Exchange (SWMX) that I have previously mentioned here does just this. The CEO, Josh Wexler, spent an hour with me.
The full interview is available on Cherry Hill Research's site (here). Here's a summary:a
JOSH WEXLER'S KEY POINTS:
- Despite investing heavily in its radio and TV placement efforts, Google is badly lagging SWMX, especially in radio.
- In radio, Google sells remnant inventory, but the real business is in regularly scheduled inventory. SWMX generates more than 80% of its revenue from this.
- Google's attitude--revolutionize the way advertisers buy advertising--has offended many traditional media owners and is hampering growth. SWMX is growing rapidly because it facilitates existing business practices.
- The current process by which radio and TV advertising is bought and sold is grossly inefficient. This creates an opportunity for electronic marketplaces.
- eBay's media-selling initiative was considered 'dead on arrival.'
- Companies like Spot Runner, which generate a lot of buzz, focus primarily on content creation and campaign planning. These companies are complementary to SWMX, which focuses on the back-end.
- SWMX expects to turn cash-flow positive later this year. Wexler believes the company's current cash position will support its near-term initiatives.
- If Google were to buy a company like SWMX, this would require a change of approach to the radio and TV markets.
- The Google-Echostar announcement is more style than substance.
Read the interview here.