Business being business, and the internet being, well, the
internet, wild, pie-in-the-sky theories are not few and far between. While
rumours that Pixar may be
making a Star Wars movie are within the realm of possibility, others are
not; such as the idea that Google should buy DreamWorks Animation.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Well Steven Mallas at business
website the Motley Fool doesn’t think so, and he
outlines his reasons why the information-obsessed Google should buy a
hit-making Hollywood animation studio.
Do his points make sense? Sure, why not. I mean, DreamWorks
is on the up lately, and Google already owns the most popular video site in the
entire internet. The two even collaborate
on videos for YouTube in addition to Dreamworks’ AwesomenessTV
MNC. So doesn’t it seem a natural fit for the two to join up? It’s a
win-win for both on the face of it; J. Katzenberg gets to offload his shares to
a corporation for them to worry about, and Google gets their foot in the
content door; ready to go toe-to-toe with Amazon and Netflix:
And the catalytic effect on YouTube could be enormous.
Imagine DreamWorks Animation bringing its magic to the clip channel before any
other platform. What if The Croods 3 or Shrek 5 were to premiere
first on YouTube before it hit theaters, not for free, but for a price (novel
as that is)? Google says it’s all about experimentation and entrepreneurship —
that would be one heck of an experiment.
It all sounds just peachy. But such a deal would be a
disaster. Not least for DreamWorks as they grapple with a corporate parent who
really and truly doesn’t understand the entertainment business. Remember when AOL bought TimeWarner
back in the heady days of the dotcom bubble and all the ‘synergy’ that was
promised between the old and the new? Well, we all know how
that eventually turned out and history is certainly capable of repeating
itself if someone wants it to.
Google owning DreamWorks would be a disaster of epic
proportions. Using the argument that they would be Google’s “answer to Pixar” is to drastically underestimate the economic and cultural forces at play within
the animation industry.