News Corp.‘s James Murdoch says iPad apps are cannibalizing physical newspapers

Apple Online Store“Sales of newspaper apps for devices like the Apple iPad are cannibalizing sales of physical newspapers, James Murdoch, head of News Corp’s operations in Europe and Asia, said on Friday,” Georgina Prodhan reports for Reuters.

“News Corp in June closed its free Times of London website. The Times, the Sunday Times and Britain’s best-selling Sunday tabloid the News of the World — also owned by News Corp — are now available online only to paying subscribers,” Prodhan reports. “News Corp’s British newspaper arm News International said this month the titles had lost up to 90 percent of their online readership and now had 105,000 paying customers, including those who had bought the iPad and Amazon Kindle apps.”

Prodhan reports, “Rupert Murdoch, News Corp’s chief executive and James’s father, has called the iPad a game-changer for news media, and many in the industry agree, thanks to the iPad’s large screen, high resolution and capacity for interactive features.”

“James Murdoch welcomed the opportunity to sell through Apple’s iTunes online store, despite the fact that Apple takes 30 percent of the publisher’s revenue,” Prodhan reports. “‘We go to the iTunes store because it’s frictionless. They charge a percentage but the guy on the newstand and the newsagent charge a percentage, and they don’t even merchandise it properly,’ he told the Monaco Media Forum. ‘The problem with the apps is that they are much more directly cannibalistic of the print products than the website,’ he said. ‘People interact with it much more like they do with the traditional product.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dan K.” for the heads up.]


  1. I’d like to see newscorp try and fali to monopolise the online media market. They already own 1/3 of UK national newspapers, and as if that wasn’t enough bias political indoctrination, they want to seize a chunk of the web market as well!

  2. @Bizlaw

    The “always have” part of your post is important. Too many think that there was a “Golden Age” of news reporting, untainted by bias. Ain’t so, and frankly, it isn’t possible as long as human beings write and edit the “news”. Steel101 speaks of indoctrination by Murdoch. Well, if not Murdoch, it’s a Ted Turner instead. Pick your poison people. Just know that if you don’t see it with your own eyes, you will be getting information skewed in some way by somebody—usually unintentional, but sometimes for a very big purpose.

  3. If iPad-usage is displacing traditional paper-based news, then that is almost the OPPOSITE of “cannibalizing.”

    I like TowerTone’s take. MDN’s headline should say

    > … iPad apps are “shredding” physical newspapers

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