Google has agreed to buy privately-held Feedburner, the specialist in providing syndication services (using RSS) for blogs. FeedBurner also has a growing business in placing advertising in blogs, which is clearly what has attracted Google to it. Though terms and price have not been disclosed, technology blog site TechCrunch says Google is paying around $100 million - and if any site has an inside edge of this it should be TechCrunch because FeedBurner was started by its former
Ovum principal analyst David Bradshaw comments:
This is yet another example of Google moving to keep its core advertising business ten steps or more ahead of the competition. $100 million (if the figure is correct) may seem on the high side for a relatively small player, but it's small change to Google. Moreover, it keeps FeedBurner out of the hands of rivals.
One thing that is clear from this is that Google will continue to aggressively enhance its advertising business. Introducing advertising into syndicated content (in other words, content that users 'pull' to themselves) is another small push to extend the 'normal' areas of advertising. As more of our private and professional lives go online, the more we will end up paying for it indirectly through advertising. How we'll feel about that is an issue we all need to think about.
David Bradshaw is principle analyst in Ovum's software group