Sorrell vs. Murdoch

Interesting Reuters article from a couple of weeks ago. Martin Sorrell talks about how media companies are running scared of the new new media. But perhaps most interesting is his criticism of News Corp’s recent acquisitions.

The article talks about US analysts not seeing a coherent strategy in the News Corp plan. However, this alternative, if slightly dense, viewpoint from Fortune Magazine has some interesting insights. Whether you think MySpace is worth what they paid for it is a different issue (Sure, they’ve got millions of users, but how long will they stick around? Does it have the technical infrastructure to cope? Etc.). At least News Corp have a ‘strategy’ of sorts. They’re building a new channel.

Sorrell states:

“I think there’s a certain amount of panic among media owners,” he said. “Most of these companies, ours included I suppose, are run by 50- or 60-year-olds who have trouble getting it, and who really don’t want to see change on their watch.”

Which I can imagine is absolutely true. But at the same time, it seems wrong to then criticise News Corp’s acquisitions – they’re the ones going out there and making the big changes ‘on their watch’.

The article then summarises Bill Gates’ view of the future of advertising.

Gates said the future lies in all forms of content — from movies to TV shows to news — being distributed in a customized form online, sponsored in part by advertising that will zero in on specific demographics and interest groups.

Hmmmmmmmm… anyone want a piece of MySpace?

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