Call it the great digital housecleaning of digital media. Six or seven years ago, media companies were scrambling to buy digital assets. Properties like MySpace, IGN, Fandango, iVillage and DailyCandy were gobbled up by media conglomerates who wanted to stake an online claim and appear, at least to their shareholders, like they had a read on the new digital landscape.
Now, though, media companies are going through their closets, tossing out some web 1.0 digital investments while putting money into newer businesses like multichannel YouTube networks that more obviously complement their traditional TV operations.
Most prominent in the divestiture phase has been Comcast’s NBCUniversal, which has been unloading many of its non-core digital properties, including shutting down TV recap site Television Without Pity and local deals site DailyCandy. The decision to shut down those sites came after unsuccessful attempts to find buyers.
A year ago NBCUniversal announced it was rolling the female-focused lifestyle site iVillage into Today.com, and in recent weeks, executives have been quietly shopping other properties in the iVillage network, Astrology.com and GardenWeb.com.