Thursday, May 07, 2009

Murdoch on the Kindle and Paid Content

From their earnings conference call yesterday (SeekingAlpha):
If it is possible to charge for content on the web, it is obvious from the Journal’s experience. We are now in the midst of a [proper] debate over the value of content and it is clear to many newspapers the current model is malfunctioning. We have been at the forefront of that debate and you can confidently presume that we are leading the way in finding a model that maximizes revenues and returns for our shareholders. I can assure you we will not be feeding our content rights to the fine people who created the Kindle. We will control the prices for our content and we will control the relationship with our customers. Any device maker or website which doesn’t meet these basic criteria on content will not be doing business long-term with News Corporation.
Too many content creators have been passive in the face of obvious violations of intellectual property rights. We rightly hold China and other countries accountable on this important issue. But the violation of these rights is rampant on the web in our own country. Our content is extremely valuable and the violators have recognized that value.
Within the company itself, the very bright people we have at our Slingshot Laboratories are devising clever ways to monetize the content of some of our long established print properties. We will be matching their contemporary expertise and the creation of communities within our traditional -- with our traditional expertise in the creation of content. The [current days of the Internet] will soon be over.
PS: Barely a mention of Harpercollins. A tough 3rdQ means HC will need a very strong 4thQ to finish the year in positive territory. (PublishersWeekly)

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