SWe heard last week that Daily Candy, the email newsletter for lady shopaholics, was about to be sold. Now digital PR man Adam Isserlis is floating the name of the rumored acquirer: Comcast, one of the two consumer-unfriendliest companies in America! The rumored price is $75 million, a bit below the $100 million+ controlling shareholder and former AOL second-in-command Bob Pittman has been seeking since 2006. But that's still not bad for an email list. The question is: Why Comcast? What the hell is a cable company doing buying a content play? Shouldn't the very presence of Bob Pittman, spectre of the darkest days of the failed AOL-Time Warner merger, remind Comcast of how ill-advised this sort of vertical empire building can be? Meh, Comast is on a roll and doesn't want to hear it.
Comcast, mind you, also recently bought internet address book Plaxo. Its explanation of the acquisition was mind-numbingly non-sensical:
Comcast's ambition is to make more and more content available to consumers across all platforms," said Samuel Schwartz, executive vice president for strategy and development at Comcast Interactive Media, in an interview. "When you add the social dimension to these products, you can navigate through those platforms based on what your friends are doing."
Uh, right. Whatever. Schwartz went on to say that people would be able to use Plaxo to send an episode of Lost to their friends, which is also bizarre, because the hard part of sending a TV show to a friend (WTF?) is not finding your friend's email address — it's sending the show.
Since Comcast is famous for canceling the service of its most Web-savvy customers and for sneakily disallowing certain programs from connecting to the internet, some (smart) people think the company should maybe focus on fixing those problems instead of spending tens of millions of dollars on awkward internet acquisitions. But where's the glory in that? Being a media company is way more fun than trying to meet the needs of millions and millions of customers!