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June 15 2010

08:49

Skiff: Murdoch tries to buy the news platform. Again.

News Corp’s acquisition of the Skiff e-reader platform has been widely reported in the last few hours. It’s a completely sensible move from an organisation which understands that it has to control every part of the news chain if it is to extract as much value as possible from content, advertising, and user data.

Of course we’ve been here before with MySpace – a distribution network, database, and content platform that Murdoch acquired to howls of derision – then applause, when an enormous advertising deal was brokered with Google – and derision once more as MySpace failed to meet targets stipulated by that deal.

Skiff, however, is a rather different proposition. Interestingly, News Corp have bought the software but not the device it was supposed to run on. That may be because it was already developing one.

I’m not sure whether it is a wise move to compete with the technical expertise and experience of Amazon and Apple – but you can bet that, commercially, News Corp has a very strong hand.

One point to note is that Apple’s business model is primarily based on selling devices; Amazon’s is mainly about selling things; but News Corp is mainly about selling the intangibles of advertising and content. That may give them cause to discount their technology heavily as a mass-market offering to tie people in, and acquire customer data.

News Corp is a network, not just a series of holdings. And the latest acquisitions suggest they’re not going to let someone else control their market without a fight. The question is: how soon will they put the gloves on? And how hard, and long, can they fight?

March 23 2010

21:11

Apple's iPad to Crowd Amazon's Digital Book Business

With Apple's iPad hitting the market in a matter of days, the computer giant's entrance into tablets and eReaders is expected to give the digital book business a boost.

In this week's New Media Minute I report that according to a recent eMarketer study, the eReader market in the United States will reach 6 million units this year and will rise to about 19 million units in 2013.

How will the beleaguered magazine and newspaper industries fare on tablets? They face an uncertain future, and for more details on why, tune into this week's episode. 

You'll also learn about how the market share for Amazon will shift now that Apple's come to play.

Daisy Whitney

Editor's Note:  Daisy's New Media Minute is produced and sponsored separately from Beet.TV.  We are pleased to publish her segment regularly here.  AP

November 20 2009

03:42

Adobe Aims to Dominate Software Format for eReaders

Adobe sees a big growth opportunity in the emerging eReader market, says Bill Rusitzky, who heads media alliances for the software company.

The company is heavily promoting its ePub product which will be used in the Nook and the Sony eReader. It is not used in the Kindle and will not likely be used in the anticipated Apple Tablet.

MediaMemo's Peter Kafka reports on the looming software battles over formats for the new devices.

I interviewed Bill last month in New York at the Beet.TV Online Video Roundtable.

Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

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