Last week I wrote a post asking what News were up to with their paid content and tablet plans in Australia.
You can read it here -https://talkingdigital.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/what-are-murdochs-tabletmobile-plans-for-australia/
In the post I said:
“My gut tells me if Murdoch wants to attract young people to his ‘word based’ content he’s going to have to buy companies who already have trust with and access to this audience. Yes, he tried this before – myspace – but he would have learnt some valuable lessons from the journey so far (we will see how well myspace can re-re-re-re-launch in November of 2010). Whilst the myspace mistakes have been costly, they could ultimately help turn the brand around.
“In addition, he needs to stick to companies that have similar traits to his already successful brands (short, sharp, punchy, broad) but play in areas News punches softest in (Music, Entertainment, Technology Lifestyle, Fashion). There are at least 20-30 businesses that fit this criteria here and abroad. A business like Gawker in the US springs to mind. Or a Mashable. Or even a HuffPo. Or a Kidspot. Already successful, operationally lean and cash positive web businesses with the potential to expand into other areas – tablet/mobile/events/print.”
John Hartigan spoke to the PANPA today to open the Future Forum of Newspapers and in the speech he said
“The editorial stars of this new age will be those who are innovative, creative and entrepreneurial.
“They will be the ones who:
- Really understand what their audiences want;
- Know how to exploit the new technology; and,
- Can put the two together to create and publish content people will pay for.
“Instead of assuming that our scale and market power is unassailable, we have to start thinking like an entrepreneurial start-up.”
From this, it appears News now views its competition as specifically the sites I said they should look at buying.
And what do companies like News generally do to their competitors. They either crush them or gobble them up.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see News – at the direction of Hartigan – looking to make some acquisitions in this space – the space of, in his words, “targeted, low cost, specialist news and information services.”
Gawker, Kidspot, Techcrunch, Mashable, Business Spectator, Daily Candy et al would be pretty neat fits.