The Economist recently wrote of Google's acquisition of popular video site YouTube: "This week's pairing of Google and YouTube may come to be remembered as the moment 'Web 2.0' came of age." Web 2.0 is a catchy phrase that describes the emergence of things like RSS, dynamic webpages, community-driven content, and web-based applications. The phrase, which has been criticized as a buzzword, does have some merit. It refers to the second generation of the Internet (which you are on!) after the wonderful dot-com bust.
The article makes reference to the AOL-Time Warner merger that "came to symbolize that era's excesses"; now, Google has emerged as the latest company to expand its grasp on tech communications. Google has been snatching up small companies for web-based applications and new search technologies, but the YouTube buy-out was a big step. Now, according to FMQB.com, experts are hinting that the search czar (tsar) could be purchasing a minority stake in Clear Channel.
Clear Channel "has been surrounded by talks of a potential buyout," and some market analysts feel Google could be in the market for a part of the historically well-liked radio giant. Google, apparently, is looking to expand into the local advertising business, and radio would indeed do that. Google wouldn't need to buy much of a stake, as little as 5%, to maintain an interest locally, according to FMQB.
Of course, these are just rumors. Google may never purchase a piece of Clear Channel, or it might. Who knows? I suppose we could Google (search) it, but I'm assured by the company that its servers would implode. Even if nothing happens, it is very interesting to see the power of Google. The friendly giant is becoming an enormous threat to Microsoft, and Yahoo! is rushing to compete. Many industry analysts have commented that Google is all over the place, creating too many new areas for it to dangle its feet in, often to compete with (or irritate) Microsoft. But now, with its purchase of YouTube, as The Economist suggests, "Google [being] prepared to buy, rather than build, market leadership marks a big strategic change." This only seems more telling in a growing effort for Google to expand into a much larger arena, even with rumors of interest in Clear Channel.