Rupert Murdoch's News Corp will unveil what they described as an “innovative subscription model” next month. During the Q3 earnings call yesterday it was also announced that the group made revenues of $8.8 billion. Murdoch said the the group has been speaking with a broad base of potential partners.
One caller asked if there would be charges for charge for entertainment as well as news (clearly bearing in mind the imminent launch of the Times' paid-for-content model) , the response was affirmative.
Murdoch went on, “Everybody’s been negotiating with Apple about television shows, films - we do VOD, everything’s on there.”
So, will the new offer be be a competitor to iTunes Store, utilising News Corp's Hulu TV? We'll have to wait and see - watch this space.
Murdoch's approach to building a broad, cross-media empire is starting to make sense. As I've noted in earlier posts the time ripe to re-architect his various interests to take advantage of the synergies it offers.
We know that the Times websites will cost £1 a day, £2 a week or free with a print subscription from June, thoug details on the latter bundle are hard to come by.
Perhaps, as I've always maintained, Times Online could charge subs along with a BSkyB satellite TV subscription . . . Why stop there? Other News Corp offerings - say, movie tickets or previews - are just as likely in my view.
In a universe where content is king, and where News Corp controls a large proportion of the means of its production, it wouldn't suprise me if we are seeing the makings of the largest cross-border integrated paid-for-content model yet.