News Corp is at it again. Earlier this week Rupert Murdoch’s company bought the Skiff e-reader software – but not the company’s hardware.
As Paul Bradshaw at the Online Journalism Blog says; it’s a sensible move for a company trying to pull value from the news delivery chain.
Murdoch has a mixed record when it comes to buying tech companies and products. MySpace was a disaster.
Skiff gives News Corp control of an important part of the delivery chain. And, just as important, bypasses attempts by Apple and others to clip the ticket as news moves between publishers and their customers.
News Corp absorbed the lessons from pay TV where integration is essential; where hardware and software form part of the deal.
Murdoch’s plans to make readers pay for online news content still seem fragmented and confused at the moment. But a vertically integrated distribution chain could yet pull those fragments together.