All week, rumors have been floating around that Web 2.0 company Feedburner, which helps websites and blogs (including Metue) distribute and track RSS (Really Simple Syndication feeds), is being bought by Google.
A short while ago, Tech Crunch ran a story citing sources close to the deal saying the deal was in fact official with an announcement due shortly. According to the Tech Crunch article, the parties have signed a binding term sheet and are working through the deal documents. If that’s accurate, and my research also seems to suggest it is, a closing within the next month is likely.
The deal is reported to be for about $100m in cash, with that paid largely upfront. For Feedburner and its investors, this will mean a nearly 10x return on investment over the 4 year life of the company.
For Google, Feedburner and its platform could represent a new frontier in advertising, especially for Google’s AdSense platform. The logic is that: when people view news (and blog) content through RSS or email feeds (both of which are increasingly popular) they often do not click-thru to the original article and publishing website. Consequence of that, a large number of advertising impressions are potentially lost for the host site (and it’s ad publisher which is often Google). In buying Feedburner, Google gains the ability to place advertising directly in to the feed-streams. With that, Google will be able to take it’s AdSense platform and make it more mobile. Impressions potentially lost to feeds can be recaptured. That’s a positive opportunity for Google and blog/website publishers alike.