Thursday, September 23, 2010

What would happen if Coke acquired Pepsi?

This just happened -metaphorically - in the genealogy universe.  Ancestry.com acquired Footnote.com's parent iArchive.  The two websites are basically #1 and #2 with respect to fee-based historical/genealogical databases.

The modifier is necessary, since some might nominate FamilySearch for #2, but for religious reasons they give away all their information for free. 

And that may just be one of the reasons for the acquisition.  It can be difficult for for-profits to compete with not-for-profits on the same playing field.

These are just my initial thoughts.  We will of course have to wait and see what happens.

9 comments:

Barbara Poole said...

Sorry John, but I have to say this...I would just about die. I begin and end my day with Pepsi!

John said...

Well...there is no guarantee that upon acquiring Pepsi, Coke would change anything. Knowing full well that some people prefer each soda product, they might keep all the products active, and reap the continued profits from each.

There might be some renaming of products, but the products could remain the same.

Kerry Scott said...

The thing is--people either drink Coke or they drink Pepsi. Hardly anyone drinks both unless they have to (like in a restaurant, for example). In fact, many people actively shun the one they don't regularly drink.

I would bet, though, that most people who have a Footnote subscription also have an Ancestry subscription.

But yeah, it feels icky to think that the 800 pound gorilla is continuing to put on weight.

Heather Rojo said...

Do you think they will keep each website, or merge them into one mega-website for a bigger subscription fee? Is bigger better- and worth extra $$$???

Genealogy said...

I wonder what footnote Maven has to say?

John said...

I can't predict what they will do, but I suspect this is one case where the parts are greater than the whole. In that there is a limit to what "the market will bear" with respect to monthly fees, and they can actually make more money by letting the consumers pick either or both.

However, a discount for both subscriptions might make business sense.

Another question is what happens to Footnote's project to index the censuses. It's now duplication of effort, though some do prefer Footnote's indexing.

John said...

Sticking to my analogy - I'm a Diet Coke drinker, as well as a Tropicana Orange Juice drinker. The latter is a Pepsi product.

With regard to Ancestry and Footnote, There are some duplicative products on the two websites where some consumers may prefer one over the other (better scans, better indexing, etc) but each have products the other doesn't have.

Where I think the analogy falls is that Footnote really wasn't an equal competitor to Ancestry. This is an acquisition, not a merger.

Martin said...

I would argue that FamilySearch is not a not for profit in one sense. A true nonprofit can only survive so long running at a loss. Let's assume that the website and library, which are free, run at a substantial loss. These things are subsidized by the LDS Church. That particular institution, although not a for-profit organization, is probably one of the best funded nonprofits in the world. I would think Microsoft or Walmart would have difficulty keeping up with the LDS church.

Schelly Talalay Dardashti said...

Hi, John, I asked the marketing manager of Footnote for more information on how this "wholly-owned subsidiary" will be run - on the ground - and what it means in practicalities.

Will of course let people know what he provides as permitted at this stage of the game.

Still wonder who will be next?

Schelly Talalay Dardashti