News Corp May Launch Digital Platform Unit

Aug 02, 2010

According to a Financial Times article from July 30th, "News Corp is nearing a decision on  whether to start a news organisation to provide content for a subscription application on digital tablet devices such as Apple's iPad, according to people close to the plans." As the FT suggests, this move is likely related to the company's June 2010 acquisition of Skiff . The Skiff platform was created by Hearst Corp. and announced in January 2009. It is designed to preserve the layout of print publications on mobile devices such as tablets, netbooks, and smartphones and was originally created to provide an alternative to the Kindle platform, though it is clear that the current dominant rival for digital newspapers and magazines will be the iPad.

The FT article suggests that News Corp will "hire a new staff while borrowing from the resources, but not the content, of its news assets, which include the New York Post and Dow Jones. The product would include coverage of news, entertainment, sports and politics." This seems an odd move, given that the one area in which News Corp has the infrastructure advantage over Amazon and Apple would be in the area of content access and creation so one wonders why the company would need to make further investment in this regard. It will be interesting to see if--among the many ideas News Corp has floated in the press about approaches for ending the all you can eat free-news buffet online—this one comes to fruition.