Business Week has published a good summary of News Corp’s recent forays into Web media, including this quote:
“Our strategy is quite simple,” Murdoch said. “News Corp. at its core is about content. The Web at its core is about personal choice. What we are aiming to do is combine the two, and in the process redefine the meaning of [an] Internet vertical.”
The company’s presence in such “verticals” as sports, news, and entertainment creates an enormous amount of content. Over the next few years, users will be able to customize it by using tools from acquisitions such as Scout and MySpace. Scout will enable so-called citizen journalists to file and share reports on things that are important to them, such as local high-school sports games.
Murdoch suggested the company will acquire additional tools in the areas of advanced search, e-mail, customization, accessibility, or even voice communications. “Users will be able to personalize their experience to take advantage of the vastness of the Internet as a whole,” he said.
That’s the first genuinely intelligent thing I’ve heard from Murdoch’s lips on this (assuming of course this is what he said, and that BusinessWeek isn’t just putting words in his mouth). Until now, the News Corp pronouncements have either been obvious or baffling (and that included, for me, the MySpace acquisition). This starts to make sense: as Yahoo! moves from providing tools to adding its own content for those tools to manipulate, News Corp. starts to move in the other direction. When they meet in the middle things’ll get really interesting.