Friday, September 30, 2005

It's not just Rup investing in the internet ...

While News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch has been prominently investing in internet media firms (as reported in London Calling), he's certainly not the only one. Other big media corporations, including Viacom and Time Warner, are also pursuing aggresive interent acquisition strategies. The Benton Comm Policy listserv notes a Wall Street Journal piece (Story here but requires registration) that highlights how these and other TNCs "are spending billions in a spate of acquisitions and aggressive Internet initiatives, and are likely to keep on spending." Why are they doing this? In a nutshell, it's the fear of being left behind by new media as audiences migrate to the internet--potentially prompting advertisers to jump ship. The WSJ piece goes on:
    Some hope to directly challenge the giant portals like Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc. -- Web sites that serve as gateways to the Internet. Others are transferring some of their most valuable content to online sites, even though that risks alienating their traditional distribution partners. Although it's too soon to say whether the media industry's latest approach will bear fruit, the companies are finding some areas more fertile than others. They have been investing heavily in youth-oriented Web sites, like gaming, and less in areas like prime-time entertainment programming that is still a cash cow for the television networks. They're also mostly avoiding the pay-per-view model, which hasn't yet gained traction online.


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