Murdoch tunes in to iPod generation

Bigs up digital future

Newspapers need to embrace the iPod generation or risk losing out in the digital world, according to media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

Addressing the newspaper industry in London last night the chairman of News Corporation argued that content was "king" in this digital age, and that it was up to newspapers to provide that content via a variety of different platforms such as the web, iPods, mobile phones or laptops.

Although he didn't write-off newspapers completely, the future for newsprint and ink is just one channel to get content to consumers. And just as traditional news sources are under threat, he also acknowledged that the internet had shifted the balance of power for opinion-formers.

"Power is moving away from the old elite in our industry - the editors, the chief executives and, let's face it, the proprietors," said Murdoch. "A new generation of media consumers has risen demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and very much as they want it. This new media audience - and we are talking here of tens of millions of young people around the world - is ALREADY using technology, especially the web, to inform, entertain and above all to educate themselves."

Indeed, TV is facing similar pressures to newspapers which is why News Corp's satellite TV service Sky has already started making its programmes available via a broadband connection onto PCs and on mobile phones. And with the development of PVRs (personal video recorders) and internet broadcasting (IPTV) "this wave of innovation gives the consumer huge choice at relatively low cost".

"So, media becomes like fast food - people will consume it on the go, watching news, sport and film clips as they travel to and from work on mobiles or handheld wireless devices like Sony's PSP, or others already in test by our satellite companies," he said. ®

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