Wow. Talk about your no-brainers. The Daily Beast’s Stryker McGuire (wasn’t that a failed show on ABC in the late 70s about a former cop who pairs up with an ex-con or something?) reports today that he “has learned” through “sources” that News Corp. “has tasked a global team–reporting directly to the 78-year-old media mogul–with creating a model to charge for online content.”
Cut to: me staring, waiting for the news in any of this. Right. And?
Mr. McGuire’s reporting, complete with breathless late 40′s style writing gives us this: ”Now, The Daily Beast has learned, Murdoch’s News Corp. has set up a global team (you said that part already, Stryker), based in New York, London, and Sydney (okay, that’s in line with “global”), to create a system for charging for online content in an environment where consumers have come to expect to get it for free.”
I am so not making this up.
He continues: ”According to a knowledgeable source, the team is said to be ‘looking at hardware’ to deliver the content in a ‘user friendly way’–a prospect that will surely catch the attention of the developers of Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader.”
Oh man. If The Daily Beast thinks this is newsworthy–and moreso, deserving of being peppered with trite “has learned” and “according to sources” filler, well, they’re a lot further back on the media curve than I thought.
A global news organization “tasking a team” to “find a way” to “charge for content?” Heavens! Who would’ve thought? I figured Murdoch was tasking teams to refine the printing press and dispatching task forces into the wilds of Asia to find the next Sudoku.
For the record, any major (or minor) media company that isn’t thinking about a new financial model is a ship that will soon be known as an “underwater reef” suitable for divers and coral. But then what do I know? I also poo-poohed this story I read on The Daily Beast last week about TDK tasking a team to look into a new model for recording audio beyond the cassette tape (which will surely catch the attention of the makers of Sony’s blockbuster Walkman music player!).