Welcome to the 21st century! News Corp has announced that iPad apps have cannibalized traditional newspaper sales. James Murdock, Rupert Murdoch’s son and head of the company’s Asian/European operations told attendees at the Monaco Media Forum that iPad users tend to treat online news apps as a more traditional form of their papers, causing them to be less likely to pay for a subscription to even their most popular offerings including the Wall Street Journal, News Of The World and Times Of London.
Murdoch also said that News Corp is comfortable with selling through iTunes and that they didn’t see a cost expectations increase since they would have already had to print physical copies if users chose to purchase their paper in that manner.
“They charge a percentage but the guy on the newstand and the newsagent charge a percentage, and they don’t even merchandise it properly,” Murdoch said.
In the meantime, Rupert Murdoch has continued to insist that paywalls will reverse time, allowing the company to find a paying user base. According to Electronista, the eldest Murdoch has been willing to sacrifice up to 90% of the company’s online readership in order to rely on higher profits from paywalls in place of ad-supported, free news.
Whether Fox News likes it or not, Tablets aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon and with Google Android and Windows 7 Tablets coming out and on the horizon, it’s only a matter of time before the industry is “cannibalized” even more as they put it. Perhaps focusing more on interactive media and better layouts for their online readership could give them the desired revenue they are seeking.