Vox pop: What were the momentous acquisitions of 2005?

This year saw a raft of deals and takeovers, but which stand out?

2005 has been a ripe year for acquisitions as traditional and digital firms have sought to position themselves for a new phase of growth in the interactive sector.

Ebay bought Skype for $2.6 billion (£1.4bn), while News Corp acquired games and movie site IGN Entertainment for $650m (£365m) and MySpace for $580m (£333m), and ITV is said to have bid £170m for Friends Reunited.

But concerns are already surfacing over the real value of this new wave of investments.

Of all these buys, which does the industry think has the potential to make the greatest impact? We asked some key players.

ANDY HOBSBAWM - European chairman & co-founder, Agency.com

An explosion of social production and amateur content, and new communication technologies like VoIP has driven acquisitions such as Yahoo! buying Flickr (photo-tagging and sharing site) and Google acquiring Dodgeball, the location-based software.

It has also prompted traditional media buys: ITV's bid for Friends Reunited and Murdoch's $5bn splash. For traditional media firms, it's about growing audiences, who are increasingly online, to secure ad revenue and create new revenue streams.

There's a constant dance between so-called old and new economies, so you have old buying new - BSkyB acquiring easyNet and MTV buying iFilm - but also new trying to buy old.

Martin Sorrell noted at the recent IAB conference that the largest Japanese portal, LiveDoor, had tried to acquire the biggest broadcaster, Fuji TV Networks, and the largest e-tailer, Rakuten, had tried to take over the third-biggest broadcaster, Tokyo Broadcast Systems. Both were efforts to combat Yahoo!.

BLAKE CHANDLEE - director of media sales, Yahoo! UK

News Corp's acquisition of MySpace is significant. It reinforces the fact that the consumer is in charge, not only of what they consume but also how they consume it.

EBay's acquisition of Skype is also interesting as it clearly shows how industry leaders are diversifying their offer to appeal to an audience that is spending more time doing more things online.

Yahoo!'s acquisition of photo-sharing web site Flickr has had huge ramifications for social networking and community in terms of self-publishing.

And InteractiveCorp buying Ask Jeeves shows how search continues to be a focus of revenue creation for large digital media owners.

JULIAN SMITH - online advertising analyst, Jupiterresearch

News Corp buying out the likes of the IGN and Intermix Media network, which includes MySpace.com, is significant. It's Rupert Murdoch signalling his intent to be a major player in digital. It also represents old-school media firms recognising the need to get up to speed.

The Aegis Isobar acquisitions are relevant because the media world is dramatically changing, with digital having more impact.

It raises the big question 'what does the media agency of the future look like?' Traditional media agencies used to buy traditional media - TV and print media - and get their 15 per cent commission. Now they have to look at new revenue models and service offers, and incorporate digital into their media mix.

JAMES BOOTH - managing director, Tangozebra

One deal I found interesting was the NTL-Telewest takeover. On a number of levels, this could prove to be one to watch; not only by presenting Sky with a genuine competitor in the pay-TV sector, but for how it might impact on the consumer telephone arena and threaten BT.

A huge shift in consumer marketing is happening in response to users gaining more control over the content they absorb. We are expecting the TV experience to change dramatically over the next few years. Interesting opportunities could arise, provided NTL-Telewest invests in the quality of the user experience by producing a platform that's as easy to develop on as the net or, better, one that can improve high-impact web content.


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer