The Name is Murdoch, James Murdoch

It’s day 2 of Monaco Media Forum week at I’m sharing the parts I found most interesting — now that I’ve had some time to let them sink in a bit.

James Murdoch — Chairman and Chief Exec for Europe and Asia of News Corp. — was actually pretty inspiring to watch.

It seems he’s not one to gently stir around his media a bit.. he likes it SHAKEN. And since he oversees almost EVERY kind of media imaginable, it was interesting to hear his perspective.

Shaken. (photo credit Beadmobile)
Shaken. (photo credit Beadmobile)

Murdoch, spoke eloquently (he was interviewed  by Rich Greenfield, co-head of Pali Capital’s media and cable systems equities research) of NO LONGER DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN OLD AND NEW MEDIA.

Murdoch isn’t the only one to express this idea. Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC described it in his own (Murdoch might say “subsidized”) way.

It is a good sign that people are starting to think like this — and make decisions based on this thinking.

As an example, Murdoch spoke of a strategic decision he made while running BritishSkyBroadcasting to get as many PVRs (Tivo-like devices) in the hands of customers EVEN THOUGH it would negatively impact their own advertising business.

Why? Because it made the television viewing experience better for customers. And they sell a TV experience. He actually spoke a lot of the customer experience… and improving it as much as possible.

To hear him talk, News Corp. seems pretty OK with itself when it comes to shaking up their analog and digital businesses into one integrated media business.

News’ MySpace is an interesting example. They have something like a 16% share of the online display ad business vs. Facebook’s 1% (eMarketer, Nov. 2008). And MySpace has fewer users and less buzz amongst the so-called “technorati”. I think this has everything to do with MySpace being part of, well, a media company. News Corp. is filled with people who know how to actually sell an ad. And then they do things like buy huge social media joints and the technologists who build them.

That said, of course, Facebook is trying…(please see this post from last week and this really interesting piece by Brad Stone in today’s NY Times) and they might actually create a totally new form of advertising that even News doesn’t yet see.

But I suspect the Murdochs’ openness will bring this thinking into News as well.

If you’re interested, here is Murdoch’s interview.

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