And here’s my take on what Rupert Murdoch is up to. (Also from today’s Observer.)
In less than a month News Corporation stunned everyone by paying $580m (£313m) for MySpace.com, a social networking site with annual revenues of about $20m. The following month it bought Scout.com, a college sports site. And in September it bought IGN Entertainment, an entertainment and videogaming site, for $650m. One analyst predicts that Murdoch will spend between $500m and $1bn a year on online ventures in the next three to five years.
Given his totemic status in the industry, other media firms are wondering what he’s up to. The answer is simple: Murdoch is chasing kids. That’s the only possible explanation for his decision to pay ridiculous prices for MySpace and IGN. (Scout.com looks more like a traditional old-media play.)
Here’s the reasoning: Murdoch has all the newspapers, TV stations and movie studios any mogul could want. But he’s noticed the media ecosystem changing…