European Media Firms Should Invest Online

    May 22, 2008

European media companies that don’t have an online presence, but are experienced in selling advertising should explore purchasing online groups, such as social networks, top Internet investor Saul Klein, of Europe’s Index Ventures firm said.

If newspapers want to gain new audiences, they will need to focus on the Internet, mobile and social media companies, Klein said.

"New audiences are not in newspapers or on TV or radio. They’re online and on mobile and in social media companies, Klein said at the Reuters Technology, Media and Telecoms summit in Paris, Reuters reported.

Klein pointed out the purchase of one of the UK’s most popular social networks, Bebo, by AOL for $850 million. "The point when Bebo got acquired was just when they were starting to show monetization and AOL has a sales force that has been selling online ads for 15 years," he said. "What they were missing was the audience."

Klein believes U.S. companies are more aggressive when it comes to developing international media businesses. European companies need to start competing with U.S. firms for deals that combine their ad sales team with social network’s growing audiences.

"It’s not like people go to these sites once a month, they go back day after day and they spend a lot of time on them," Klein said. He said that time is cutting into traditional media and to compete you have to invest online.