The growth of streaming platforms such as Amazon Instant, Hulu, and Netflix is one that is providing viewers with more options than ever before when it comes to consuming content, the only potential downside for those with access possibly being that the industry is losing a little of its tradition, but those that think that and also dislike the Rupert Murdoch media empire may rethink the first point a little.
The 84-year-old leader of News Corp./21st Century Fox, who run well-known TV brands such as Fox and Sky along with many news publications, has spoken out about his company’s need to launch a competitor to the likes of Amazon and Netflix in order to get back parts of the market lost.
Speaking at a the Wall Street Journal’s WSK.D technology conference in Laguna Beach (USA) on Wednesday (29 October), Murdoch called on ‘the industry’, presumably everyone not yet on-board with a service of this on-demand streaming thing, to unite and provide a challenge on broadband.
He noted: “As an industry, we need a competitor – a serious competitor – to Netflix and Amazon. I think we’re all on the same page.”
Speaking of HBO’s decision to launch a dedicated stand-alone online subscription service to consumers, he said of what he believed their targets are at present: “They don’t want to get into conflict with them [the cable companies that host the HBO network], so they’re really only aiming at the moment at the 10 million people who don’t get cable.”
He summarised of how that could have been him in charge of HBO’s operations, by way of purchasing parent company Time Warner, in what eventually amounted to a failed bid: “We felt that we needed more critical mass and content and this was a wonderful marriage and fit.”
Murdoch also noted that News Corp. could have been in the streaming game ahead of every other major competitor, noting that their purchase of social media site MySpace (bought for $580m in July 2005, but sold in 2011 for $35m after what Murdoch claimed to be a series of management mistakes, preventing them from realising a video service, one which he claims was in development three months prior to YouTube’s launch.
And it is fortunate it panned out that way, otherwise the whole internet could have had to treat Murdoch with this level of respect: