NEW YORK (Reuters) – Google Inc. is unlikely to make any major investments in original content, choosing instead to keep its focus on Internet search, a top executive from the Web powerhouse said on Tuesday.
Tim Armstrong, vice president of advertising sales, said Google viewed itself “as an operator of the Web” rather than a company that would produce original text, films or images.
“We don’t really have a ton of serious conversations about creating content,” Armstrong said during a panel discussion at an Interactive Advertising Bureau event in New York. Instead, he said, Google would prefer to stick with “getting users where they want to go.”
Another Web media company, Yahoo Inc., has shown more interest in moving into original programming, ranging from news to columns.
But even Yahoo executives have repeatedly said they do not intend to recreate television on the Web, envisioning instead a new entertainment venue that plays up the interactivity of the Internet.
Meanwhile, speaking on the same panel, Yahoo Executive Vice President of Global Media Sales Greg Coleman said concerns about a slowdown in Internet advertising could be overblown.
“People can use the word slowdown, but it gets taken out of context,” he said, pointing out that many of the largest 200 companies are still increasing their advertising on the Web, often from relatively low levels.
“We don’t see a slowdown in that activity whatsoever,” he said. Yahoo recently warned that financial and auto advertising had eased off.
Another executive, Michael Kelly, president of AOL Media Networks, said he saw no deceleration in advertising.
“I don’t think there is an industry slowdown,” Kelly said. “Think about how many more sales forces are out on the streets today.”
In a report this week, research firm eMarketer forecast online ad spending will rise 26.8 percent this year to $15.9 billion, marking a slowdown from rates of 30 percent and above in the past two years.