From The New York Times:
Digital-era media companies like Yahoo and Google, as well as traditional media companies, including those with deep roots in television and print, continue to scour the Internet for emerging content and technology companies. But the pickings of obvious acquisition candidates, while hardly exhausted, are slimming, according to financiers, entrepreneurs and industry analysts who follow the sector.
That leaves the media companies trying to figure out — as they did with far less discipline during the dot-com boom — which of the emerging generation of Web sites have lasting business models or, at least, can continue to build traffic.
“There was a point last year where we thought the midlevel Internet deals were over,” said Rafat Ali, editor of paidContent.org, a site that follows the business of digital media, referring to acquisitions valued at several hundred million dollars. But the iVillage deal last week “means that some of the midsize properties are still in play.”
Mr. Ali said media companies would also like to acquire smaller companies — up-and-coming content sites that might cost tens of millions — but that there were few proven sites left to buy. A lot of smaller “good sites have gone,” he said. Media companies “are looking at the new sites coming out of Silicon Valley” to determine what to buy next.