For all the complaining about how the TV business is in trouble, NBC's president, Jeff Zucker, is apparently trying to convince the world that traditional media companies like NBC and Viacom have a better business model than Google. He's quoted as saying: "Google was built on the power of math and algorithms. NBC is built on brilliant programming. Both are compelling models, but I don't think Google's model is as powerful as Viacom [and other media companies] as the market would have you believe." This seems like an odd comparison, and ignores Google's place in the media world as well. While there is something to be said for the value of programming, it ignores why something like Google is useful. They represent two different models that aren't at all mutually exclusive. While NBC may add value by "programming" content, Google doesn't have all that overhead, and is simply organizing content for people to find. It also seems that NBC's model is a lot riskier, as its success is almost entirely dependent on how good those few "programmers" at the top are in the fickle world of entertainment. Google, on the other hand, works as more of a bottom up approach. Whatever people are interested in, they're already able to handle it. The difference is that, while NBC's media model is programmed from the top, Google's is programmed by everyone who uses it.
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