Why Rupert Murdoch May Not Be Stupid

Rupert Murdoch built Sky on the premise that he’d give people what they already had, but better packaged. The idea that a household would pay £50/​month for TV, when they already have access to 20 free channels, would have sounded unbelievable in 1990. Now he has a business so large that Government may have to step in to prevent News Corps proposed plans to increase their current 39% stake in BSkyB to a full takeover.

News Corps have also recently been under the media glare (well, those glare’s you don’t have to pay for) for putting their online print outlets behind a paywall. A ridiculous idea, but if the below has any truth perhaps it makes sense?

If News Corps were allowed to own 100% of Sky, a company with an annual revenue of £6bn, imagine how much easier it would be for profits from TV and broadband (Sky) to be moved across to print/​online journalism (The Times, News Of The World etc) to keep them alive.

Then imagine if there was an option on your Sky subscription that read ‘Tick here to receive your free newspaper app with all the daily news, video and comment direct to your and your families mobile device/tablet’s, PC’s and TV’s for £2/​month’. How many people would tick it?

I’m not sure, but perhaps a lot. Yes, exactly the same content is available elsewhere for free, but is it available AS EASILY by someone you TRUST, all of the time? It could even be free to Sky subscribers and could result in this service being one that customers rely on, which will reduce customer churn (the rate at which they leave/​return to a provider), which would still have enormous value to News Corps.

If the Sky takeover went through, could this tick box be on forms by 2013? I don’t see why not.

Will there also be a box neatly underneath it saying ‘Tick here to receive unlimited music to your homes mobile device/tablet’s, PC’s or TV’s, Radio’s or Sound Systems for £10/​month’? By 2013? I was hopeful a year ago but at this rate, it’s unlikely.

Even with a 10 year headstart, the music industry could still lose the race. What can they do to catch up?

One Comment

  • Good thoughts Chris and I have no doubt that Murdoch is finally learning about the digital world. Don’t forget that News Corps bought MySpace for $580m and then didn’t know what to do with it… where is MySpace now compared to Facebook and Twitter?! I’m sure that Murdoch has looked at Apple and is learning… people will pay more for something if it is easier to use /​ understand and fit in their world. Ideas like the ones you suggest - a one-​​stop-​​shop for news media to all your devices - is just such a move.

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