At IGNITION 2010 this morning, News Corp. digital boss Jon Miller spoke with our Henry Blodget about News Corp.’s digital future, Yahoo, AOL, and MySpace.
One key point he made: Yahoo needs to get religion about SOMETHING.
Here are our live notes. Please pardon typos, etc.
10:31: Is news corp a defender?
JM: Great question..i think we’re historically one of the most aggressive. That said, all media companies surprised at the incoming attacks. We’re more reactive than defensive as opposed to proactive.
10:32: HB: What is News Corp. digital? Its buried in other assets…
JM: Joking — i always wanted to be other. Ok, we have a company with video, print and standalone digital.
On digital assets, we have culled the herd. We have IGN which is healthy. We have relaunched MySpace. Main thing is to go from an ageing social network to personalisation of content. Look at groupon personalisation of commerce. I think this will play out on other verticals in the web.
10:35: HB: Issue of unbundling, will we watch discreet shows? How will it play out? Collapse of TV business coming?
JM: I’m aware of idea that horse has left the barn. If that’s the case you wont see media stocks rise. I dont think so, networks create hits. Doesn’t happen elsewhere. Glee, American Idol come from networks. They’re hits. People consume it live and on demand. Networks not occupied by anything else.
10:37: Networks have a real role — how do you preserve that? How do you shape landscape around it? We participated in $0.99 iTunes rentals. We will be participant in things. What do we want to cause to occur? Now you have Samsung, LG, Motorola, Apple, Google. A year to 18 months ago you bought phones from them, now you have rights talks w. them.
10:39: Depending on how (alt delivery) shakes out, it can be new money. Used ot be primary interface was cable companies. Now you have a new class of folks. Network was a wholesale busines selling to Comcast. Do you stay that or do you become retail? Hulu is retail — straight to consumer.
10:40: I think you see more things like Hulu. But you have to be both sides of street. Most money is still in wholesale, but you have to get bigger slice of retail.
10:41: talking paywalls…dual revenue is good. Journal is one of the healthiest. Times of London readers fallen off but economics have improved.
10:43: There is a transition period that is tough. We can do it because we’re so big. There will be fallout, I think we’ll make it because we afford to. Other companies may not be as fortunate. Other companies will have to pick their poison. Stay free or paywall.
10:44: We have a number of greenfield profjects. Some get out the door..the rumoured iPad newspaper, some thoughts. Me, Rupert, and Robert Thomson got to see Samsung, LG, and what was coming. Not the iPad, but touch screens, we saw it was a game changer. We thought it was worth taking a plunge. So day one we did WSJ iPAd app. Well since its a new medium can you make new experiences? What if you were freer?
If you just had a new greenfield, what could you do? I’m making a news experience, it’s quite exciting. Hopefully work, new things like that.
10:47: Hypothetically, not this month, but Q1, you could see it. One thing about Rupert is something material (NWS didnt spend $100 million on this project.) iPad and tablets are primarly media consumption devices.
10:48: Look MySpace has had a tough time, I think what it’s doing now is genuinely interesting. It’s doing pretty well it’s about to do very well, still tweaking it. Underneath it an algo about what does this person want to see now? Based on what we know about them, it’s an actual real piece of technology. It will good very good job soon.
10:49: It’s a very different business than waht it was. I’m quite hopeful. Is it going to be sold? I don’t have anything to add. I think there’s something there. Each day more enthusiastic.
10:50: Is this the kind of thing best done in house? I wrestle with each day. There are things you want to do that are hard under glare of public company.
10:51: (Can companies like AOL and YHOO be saved?) I say I have 3 jobs, surgeon, midwife and astrologer. You’re asking about the doctor part. Think about fix, it’s not about fix because that goes to where it was. It’s about going where it’s going. That’s steve jobs, he didn’t fix macs marketshare, he went where there was something new. So, you have to have a take on something going forward, I think MySpace has that. That’s the first thing, second you need a genuine product. Again, story of Jobs. For AOL and Yahoo it’s a product question. They have some strong ideas and directions, they need products. I’m waiting to see.
10:54: Pursuant to strategys what are the products to move that dial. I think Tim Armstrong is onto the right things, absolutely onto the right things. He’s been talking about video, which is right, move of premium ad dollars. I want to see the premium products. Yahoo has to get religon about something. Caught between Silicon Valley and Media. Have to get religion about SOMETHING.
10:55: By getting Ross Levinsohn, I think they are getting religon. Once you’re on the downside, it’s so much harder.
10:56: I think Ross will revitalize content side. See more alliances with Yahoo and other companies, they’ve been walled off. And that’s a wrap.
Click here for the latest, or refresh your browser.
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.