Cable executives on Tuesday downplayed the impact of Netflix on their businesses, arguing that it is simply another provider in a crowded market, though they were forced to acknowledge that consumers are no longer satisfied with just a cable box and a remote.
Execs from Time Warner, Viacom, Comcast, Cox, and News Corp. sat down this morning for a panel discussion at The Cable Show in Chicago. When asked about Netflix's recent decision to air original content, Philippe Dauman, president and CEO at Viacom, warned that "it's not easy to get into the content business; it's a tough exercise."
"That's not really their fundamental business," Dauman said of Netflix. Viacom, on the other hand, is "100 percent focused on content," he said. Netflix is just one cog in the content wheel, he said, pointing to the "incremental money" Viacom has made by repurposing its older shows, like "Beavis and Butthead," on Web-based services like Netflix.
During an earnings call, News Corp. COO Chase Carey indicated that "now is the right time" to place MySpace "under a new owner". The news is not a big surprise, as things have been going downhill for the social network. Its owner, News Corp., has attempted to revive the property last Autumn with a site redesign, and while the site is still popular with some niche crowds, there's no question that Facebook took its place long ago. Still, Carey stays positive on the outlook of MySpace, saying “the new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics, but the plan to allow MySpace to reach its full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.” Of course, it's still unknown whether anyone would be interested in buying it.
News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch unveiled his iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, today at the Guggenheim Museum in New York City.
"In the tablet era, there's room for a fresh and new voice," Murdoch said.
The Daily will feature nearly 100 pages of original content produced each day. Among the bells and whistles included are HD video and 360 degree photos. Readers can subscribe to the publication which will be delivered to the iPad automatically each morning and can opt to be billed each week for $0.99 or each year for $39.99. Murdoch said that comes down to $0.14 a day.
On hand were Apple's head of Internet Services, Eddie Cue; The Daily Editor Jesse Angelo; and News Corp.'s head of digital Jon Miller.
"It's the first national daily news publication built from the ground up for the iPad," Cue said.
The web model of free content supported by advertising is now well known and accepted. Yet, some old style corporations, especially in the newspaper industry, would still like to translate their subscriber based services online. That's the case of News Corp., the media giant behind some of UK's biggest newspapers, the Times and the Sunday Times. Recently, they switched from the traditional online model, to moving the entire sites behind paywalls.
There's been a lot of speculation as to how this model would do. The analyst expectations were low, since there's countless free online sites offering the same news reports, so people who don't want to pay could get most of that same content elsewhere. Still, proponents pointed to the commentaries, editorials and other unique content as a way to entice subscribers. Rumors ran wild while this experiment went on.
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