The tech world is abuzz with the news of Adobe's purchase of Omniture, the Utah-based software company. While Omniture's core product—software that helps track how advertising is viewed—would seem to be a perfect fit for Adobe, much of the discussion surrounding the merger has centered around the financial aspects.
You see, Adobe paid too much for Omniture—so say the critics. The Omniture stock has spent the last month or so trading at less than $18 per share, and the purchase price from Adobe works out to something closer to $22 per share.
Omniture competes with Google's Analytics, which is free to use and also wildly popular. Some analysts believe this fact makes the Adobe purchase the most egregious overpayment since Derek Jeter, who Forbes calls the most overpaid in sports.
Aside from the questionable sale price, there seems to be an awful lot of criticism of the logic behind the purchase. A lot of tech bloggers don't see any good reason for the acquisition—a lot of analysts who are smarter than me are beyond skeptical. Seems like the majority opinion is that Adobe bought Omniture more to add a new revenue stream than because analytics really make sense with their business model.
I'm just a little old Internet Marketer. I don't make a lot of $1.8 Billion purchases. I can't even comprehend that kind of number. But am I the only one that's getting a bit of déjà vu here… maybe recalling a lot of early reaction to the Google/YouTube purchase, which came similarly out of left field? I remember reading opinion after opinion stating that it simply didn't make any sense for a search engine to purchase a video portal. Maybe it didn't at the time, but considering that YouTube is now the second most searched site on the web… it's possible Google saw something in that acquisition that we did not. Just maybe.
Anyway, it actually makes perfect sense to me for Adobe to get into the analytics game. Of course, I have been known to go against the grain. But pretty much everything they do is about creating and delivering content online in new and interactive ways. Why should it be so confusing to us to see them purchase a company that helps content creators learn more about how users find the content as well as what they do with it when they get it?
I mean, question the financials all you want; I don't pretend to understand stock prices and valuations. It could be the most financially unsound deal in history. But I'm surprised to see so much discourse on whether or not it makes sense from a practical standpoint. I can think of a handful of tech mergers that made far less sense, that's for sure. It's not like Adobe bought Ebay or something completely unrelated.
Like most tech mergers, this one will be dissected and discussed for years and years. It will, obviously, either work out well for Adobe or it will not, which will be the ultimate test of the validity of this acquisition. Another good test is how investors respond, and so far, they don't seem particularly pleased—Adobe shares dropped more than $2 on the news of the purchase.
As for me? I'm intrigued… curious… optimistic. Adobe's clearly pretty firmly entrenched in the world of online video, at least for now. I'd certainly like to have a look at some robust data on how viewers find, watch, and share my videos—imagine a Flash video player that also gives you a peek inside the viewer's mind. Here's hoping they can successfully integrate Omniture's technology into their current suite of products and prove the doubters wrong.