The Work

It’s Happening

And any publisher who isn’t paying attention is NOT PAYING ATTENTION.

Google just bought Frommer’s. They already own Zagat.

At which I sputter, “…what Brian O’Leary said.” And, “…what Brian O’Leary said Esther Dyson said.” If Frommer’s is made actionable with Google’s search, Google Travel will probably include not only Zagat, but Google Maps. And will be a force to be reckoned with in terms of local advertising and merchandising.

The Singularity just got one step closer. Maybe several. And travel content just left the container.

7 thoughts on “It’s Happening

  1. Reblogged this on eBookNoir and commented:
    Now the debate will occur for what this really means for everyone else. Is it good, bad or somewhere in between? Yelp, foursquare may very well have a fight on their hands as well and google a new canyon of content to monetize.

  2. I think Frommers has recognized for some time that the travel-related content business is competing with services that use content as a prelude to transactions. With recent purchases, Google bought into the transaction space as well as Zagats. Given that Wiley had decided to sell many of its trade assets, this seems like a natural pairing.

    The thing is, Google didn’t strike preemptively; Wiley put the trade businesses up for sale in March. Any other publisher could have offered a better price, but it looks as if they didn’t. I think this does reflect the limitations of the container model of publishing. We’re still trying to figure out how to make money from books alone. That’s not going to work in markets like travel.

  3. The purchase also highlights the value of content in providing value–and not just as a search result. Another way of framing part of Brian’s point, that “any other publisher could have offered a better price,” is that it wasn’t worth the price to any publisher. It’s worth considering why.

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