James Murdoch (Aufsichtsratsvorsitzender der britischen Fernsehgruppe British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB)und Sohn des Medienmoguls Murdoch) hat sich am Dienstag (25.01.2011) auf der DLD-Konferenz von «Bild»-Chefredakteur Kai Diekmann befragen lassen. Wir haben hier den Audiomitschnitt und hiervon eine Abschrift erstellt. Den Videomitschnitt gibt es auf der DLD-Webseite.[audio:/audio/2011/01-dld/20110125jamesmurdoch.mp3]
Kai Diekmann: James, my children are really addicted to the iPad. And even the young one say, “Poppy, I can make mala-mala with the iPad.” Which means I can paint with it.
This morning on the way to Munich, I finally succeeded; I managed to kick my son from top of the high score of DoodleJump. So the first thing I would really like to know from you, what is your biggest favorite app on the iPad.
James Murdoch: Well, you’re doing much better than me on DoodleJump. I haven’t mastered it yet.
But I would say, I like – I find myself trying to learn things that I wasn’t good enough at. So I play lots of game, play chess and things like on the iPad. And try to catch up with insufficient education.
Kai: I thought you might have said, “My favorite app already is now The Daily.”
James: Well, it only starts in a few weeks.
Kai: But you have to tell us now something about The Daily. What is the Daily going to be like? What is it going to look like? And when do you expect The Daily to be launched?
James: Well I think that The Daily is going to be pretty exciting. You were in New York, Kai, recently, and you saw – I think you saw it more recently than I did. [laughs] It’s an exciting, new digital publication.
It’s something we’ve recruited some of the best journalists in the world to come and work on. And it’s something that we think is very, very exciting.
It should be launching in the next few weeks, I hope, as a brand new piece of digital journalism for the U.S. and for customers wherever, that we think it going to be good.
We want to get out there quickly and we want to get out there at a good price. We want to see how it goes. But I think it’s something that’s going to surprise people in terms of its depth and quality. But ultimately it’s going to succeed or fail on the journalism itself, not all the bells and whistles around it.
Kai: Actually talking about a good price, I was there last week and I met the people who work on The Daily. It’s 126 people on the journalistic side working on The Daily, and you’re going to sell that app for 99 US cents. How are you going to make money by this? It’s this just, as Dr. Burda put it last year, lousy pennies?
James: Yeah, it’s – look, I think it’s a very, very good price. It’s very affordable for customers. It’s 99 cents a week. And I think it’s going to really enable a lot of people to experiment with this, to sample it.
There are very few barriers for people to have this, and to enjoy what we think is going to be very high quality.
Look, I think pricing models for apps and for, paid journalism in general is developing. And we’re going to see how that goes. Whether or not we bundle it with things, whether or not we see new packages or tiers for premium access, et cetera.
But a core proposition here is to be super-simple, to be as easy as possible, to be great value for customers, and to make sure that that doesn’t stop us from investing quite a lot in really unique journalism that is written by real journalists and recorded and out there in the field as opposed to just taking your RSS feeds or cutting and pasting wires –
Which we think is really homogenized a huge amount of digital publication already. We want to break out of that as best we can.
Kai: What is the strategic goal of the app? When do you think it’s a success? How many applications do you have to sell?
James: [laughs] That’s the big debate for us. I think whenever we a milestone, we will be seeking to get to the next one. So I think what we’d like to see, is we’d like to see quite a lot of customers on this one.
But we don’t know the pace of it yet, and we don’t know how the dynamics of customers work with a weekly subscription.
It’s a very different animal than annual subscription that we have in digital television and things like that. So we just have to see how that develops. But I think we have high hopes for it in the US marketplace.
And then I think also our apps development is accelerating around the world, either in Australia with the new app for the “Australian,” which is a big national product there and the real flagship app for the “Times” and the “Sunday Times” in the UK, which continues to do well.
So this is something that our editors are really focused on, and I think creatively, it’s really galvanized a number, a great number in the journalistic community in general.
Kai: It’s now nearly three years that you’re at the top of the management in your company. How does it feel personally to be the future of a company like News Corp?
James: Well, I think that there are a lot of people who are going to be about the future of the company. But it’s an exciting company. We think at News Corp that doing we’re something that is very unique.
We are the most global of the global media companies in terms of our mix of businesses.
We get stuck in everywhere from the Middle East to India, to big businesses in Europe today, and the United States and South America.
So we have a big breadth as a business today. And I think in the business of ideas and storytelling, to be able to, on the one hand, be in the journalism business in the newspapers, for example, in Australia or the States, and all the way to the film business, with great success and great risk-taking creatively as a company.
This is a breadth that we find exhilarating. And in the marketplace that we’re in today, this digital all-media marketplace, we think it’s really the best time to be in the media business, and the most exciting as well as challenging time, as well.
Kai: Actually, you are still are publishing an awful lot still on newspaper and on paper. So would regard News Corp more as an old economy company or a new economy company?
James: I really think the old and new distinction is one that’s breaking down. When we think about storytelling, we don’t think about it from an old media versus a new media perspective.
And I think if you look at the sort of risks we take, the sort of innovations that we try with our creative partners to bring to the screen, for example, a movie like “Avatar,” I would say that the investment in technology there, the investment in distribution –
– the way we’re telling stories and setting a new creative trajectory in terms of big film and storytelling, it’s something that looks a lot more to me like new media than a lot of the things I see on the web.
So I think that distinction between old and new as sort of the Internet and other is one that is breaking down.
And I think in the old media marketplace, you started out talking about apps. Where you have digital journalism alongside games, alongside film, television, music, alongside browsing and social networks and all those things mixing together.
I think for the consumer, there in a much more fluid marketplace, they have expectations of a frictionless experience. And I think that’s something that is actually giving companies with content and copyright at their core a really exciting position, as we go out with a whole new set of distribution possibilities.
You mentioned paper. The cost of paper continues to rise. This is the bane of our lives, right? [laughs] Our business. But the cost of distributing ones and zeros continues to go down. And this is something very exciting.
So when we see the multi-touch formats of tablets and things like that for a journalistic product like The Daily or like the Times or like Develt, this is transformation for the economics of these franchises.
And as long as the brands are big and strong and you invest in them, and as the journalism is different and unique and of quality and has life in it, then I think these products have a huge amount to play for in the future.
Kai: How much of your revenues in News Corp today are from a digital source, and how much are still old economy?
James: I don’t think we really break out that way. [laughs] But, look, the vast majority of our revenue comes from pay television and digital pay television.
So if you think about our TV channels from a subscription point of view, as well as our digital TV platform, on a combined basis, in Europe for example, you would say over 70% of our revenue comes from our digital pay-TV platforms.
And remember, these are sort of 21st century digital TV businesses. These are new businesses. The first one only started in ’99 as a digital business. And this is brand new technology that’s being brought to bear.
In UK, it’s in telecoms, it’s in voice broadband, as well as TV. It’s a digital business with content at its very heart, and really at the core of the company. And it’s similar to what we’ve done at Sky Italia and what we’re starting to do here with Sky Deutschland.
These are very much new 21st century businesses. If you’re asking about the newspaper business, the traditional newspaper business, the paper-based bit is really probably, I think, 15% or our revenue, maybe less.
Kai: Would you still dare to invest in paper industry and newspapers?
James: We still are. [laughs] Yeah, I think so. Look, I think – if I tell you something, like the “Sun” newspaper, right? You would have this experience with BILD. The “Sun” newspaper today has just finished another quarter, another record Christmas.
So with a franchise as strong as the “Sun,” with a franchise that really speaks to customers, something that listens to its readers and understands what they want to read and see, and really has that very strong relationship, our advertisers respond very well.
So we had, again, the biggest books we’ve ever printed. We had the highest ad revenue and volume that we’ve ever had. And that’s been consistent over the last number of years.
So even though we had an economic crisis in the world in this recession, and also we have we have this problem, this perception that newspapers are in terminal decline, big franchises that are really differentiated continue to do well.
Our view is that the scarcity of those great brands and the scarcity of that reach are going up, and therefore the value of those companies is going up as well. And the value of what we can do for advertisers and for readers is going up.
Audiences for the Super Bowl have gone down historically on a reach basis, but prices for Super Bowl ad continue to go up, because pricing scarcity in a hugely fragmented marketplace is really the critical facto that you have to have.
And that’s why I think the thing that suffers is the middle ground. It’s not the top of the market or the very niche specialist product. It’s actually the middle ground that’s the problem. So syndication runs for “Suddenly Susan,” right, is not a business anymore.
Kai: As you mentioned, like “Sun,” BILD had the most successful year in 2010 in its history. Talking about marketplaces and talking about News Corp is a globalized company, how do you judge by your internal market rating where, in which areas of this globalized world you’re investing and in which areas you are not investing?
James: Well, it’s a good…
Kai: What are your preferred marketplaces?
James: I think it depends on the business. I mean for us, we try to distribute our programming on a global basis, so we like to have the National Geographic channel in lots and lots of markets and we sell that to pay-TV operators around the world.
But when we dig in and we want to, say, create something like a Sky Italia or a Tata Sky in India, big operations with thousands of people in them, lots of investment and technology, lots of investment in local programming, lots and lots of investment, then you have to pick and choose much more carefully.
And I guess for us, we really like markets first of all that have a bit of scale, that have transparency, that have some measure of regulatory certainty, so you are already ruling out quite a lot of places there, but also where you have real under-penetration or a real lack of the marketplace providing properly for customers.
So, we like India enormously. It is our biggest business in Asia. It is one of our biggest businesses now from a profit perspective globally.
Our Indian business has been something we have been at for 20 years, but we also like Western Europe in ways, and we love Germany for example, and Italy, and even the U.K. still, because actually they are still vastly underpenetrated.
So there is still an enormous amount to play forward, affluent families who are underserved by what they are getting from the marketplace. So if you look at investing in choice, investing in quality, investing in great storytelling, bringing that to families in a way that is simple to use and very very good technology at a very very fair price.
I think those are universal values in our business, and where we look at something like in lots of Europe where you have had a very close broadcasting system with both a strong state broadcaster and one or two commercial competitors around it.
We think that’s a great recipe for pushing in with something that is very focused on the customer, very focused on value and very focused on really empowerment of the customer first and foremost as opposed to talking down to them.
So we choose carefully. We can only do so many, but when we look at Europe and Asia, I think the big chunks for us are, our big businesses and investments in Western Europe, our Indian business and you would like some more, but the transparency filter is one that is very very hard.
And in the media business, it is particularly difficult to be operating unfettered in a country like China or other parts of Southeast Asia.
Kai: How do you value by management standards chances versus risks?
James: How do you mean…?
Kai: What kind of risks you would not take if going in a new market?
James: Well, I think the big risk for us is what we would like to do, I think we like to have success or failure be largely our own job. So, we will take the risk if we think we can perform.
So we say, if we are going to mess it up, maybe we can bet on ourselves to not mess it up too badly.
But when you go into a place and you are depending on something that is totally exogenous to that, you are depending on some other factor, particularly when it comes to politicians and regulators, I think those are risks that become very scary, because that is a class of people that remain a mystery to me.
Kai: So what about Turkey?
James: Turkey is a fascinating market, well your Axel Springer, you have a big investment in Turkey. So, you would know much more about it than I do. So for us…
Kai: But is it an interesting marketplace for Murdoch as well?
James: Look, Turkey is a great marketplace. We have a TV channel in Turkey, a national TV network. I think we are number four there now and we are proud of our news broadcasting there and some of the dramatic production that we have done as well.
I think you are invested in the number one, so we get beat up quite a lot.
But for us, Turkey is a very exciting marketplace. I think it is a question of where the opportunities are; what price. Turkey, we definitely fit in the place. If you had that filter, you would say yes, it is big, it is a democracy, and it is reasonably transparent. You know that looks like a nice place to be.
But then, you have to then layer on top of that value, and I think one thing that everyone thinks about in emerging markets as well is the sort of multiples that people are paying and you don’t really want to be in a place where it’s a very crowded trade.
Kai: Talking about risk and the marketplace in Germany and as News Corp, you invest an awful lot of money in pay-TV here in Germany and you already lost an awful lot of money.
How do you see now that Sky actually really made a big success in the last quarter, and what really happened that suddenly Sky is on its way obviously to be a success?
James: I think as of yesterday, actually we’ve made money. Take a picture of it.
Kai: [laughs] .
James: It’s true. And our investment in Sky Deutschland is one that over a number of years has been one that has been contrary. People have said it won’t work.
We invested to get a foothold and then we kept going to try to get the company on a sound financial footing, but also to try to rebuild the company with a new management team, and so on and so forth. And we have every confidence in the business.
We think it’s a strong business. There were recent set of results that I think the market agreed with us. It was a strong set of results.
One quarter doesn’t make the whole thing; one swallow doesn’t make a summer as they say. But we believe fundamentally that the German marketplace is one that can certainly have a successful 21st century digital television platform in it.
We think there is a lot of room to grow and a lot to play for, and we have a lot of confidence in Sky Deutschland.
I think the key issue for us as we look at it, is to say: OK what are the other players in the marketplace, are customers being served by what’s out there or not. And I think that actually there is a huge amount of benefit for an average family in Germany to have Sky Deutschland subscription.
And as long as we continue to believe that and we think they were putting something on the table that has value and quality and is empowering and all of those things, then we will continue to try to sell it to them and we will get there.
Kai: What can we expect from Sky here in Germany in the next month? Is there more 3D; is there more HD, what are the next steps that is going to lead you to more success?
James: Look, I think, there is no question that what Sky Deutschland has done over the last number of months is really dialup its products, product roadmap.
And we have seen HD grow very fast. We have seen 3D introduced for the first time in the marketplace and the 3D product at home is fantastic, and I think people really really respond to that for special events and certain movies and things like that.
And I think you are going to see more of that. I think you are going to see more channels. I think we are going to see more HD.
I do think that 3D proposition is attractive and will keep going, but ultimately what we are really focused on is our customer satisfaction; are our customers happy, is churn going down, are they saying that they value the product more, et cetera?
And when we look at all of those metrics, we can clearly see that Sky Deutschland is getting some traction with its customers, and they ultimately are our best ambassadors.
The customers who have already bought it say, “Actually you know what, this is a pretty good product.” And we have to keep working on that and keep listening to them to continue to improve the product.
Kai: How do you see the competition with the public TV sector, not only that they compete, for example, in your case Bundesliga rights, but that they are doing more and more in our digital field, and they have got boundless possibilities regarding the eight billion fees they can earn in Germany a year?
James: I think there is couple of different dimensions to competition when you have established a business like this. The first stage of a business like this is you compete with traditional terrestrial broadcasters. You compete with the state broadcaster and the commercial broadcasters.
And we went through this very much in the first part of this decade in the U.K., and we are just coming out of it now in Italy because we are at a big scale in Italy now, almost five million households.
And in Germany we are right in that phase where we are still really thinking about how do we get better content, how do we make sure we are differentiated, how do we deal with all those things.
But the real next phase of competition as the competitive set expands is you really see the big phone companies coming in, you see the big technology companies et cetera, and that’s where the competitive set really shifts. So I think the state broadcaster issue here is the same as it is anywhere.
As a society, we have to think what is appropriate for the state broadcaster, what is appropriate to subsidize in media, what is appropriate for the taxpayer to pay for with respect to new products and potentially crowding out innovation and crowding out other investment by the private sector.
I am not sure that’s a big dynamic right now for Sky Deutschland where at Sky Deutschland what we are really focused on is just making sure we can put a great package of programming together, both in natural history and sports and movies and entertainment and package that in the most straightforward way possible.
I think we are coming to that part, but we are not there yet.
Kai: It was last year on the Monaco Media Forum that you declared officially the first rule of monetization, and I’d like to quote you, it goes like this, “If you are going to monetize something online, you probably shouldn’t give it away for free.”
Good idea, and you reacted, actually you put the Times Online and Sunday Times Online behind paywalls. What are your experience during these 12 months with asking the people for paying money to get the Times and Sunday Times Online?
James: Well, first of all, the experience has been pretty good. And I think the point that I was trying to make then, was just that if we really like a business, we think there is a nice honest business in having a product and going to a customer and saying, it costs ‘x’ and seeing if you can get a deal done.
We think that’s a good way to square up to your customer and have something that is pretty durable.
And today, in Europe for example, 70% of our revenue in our whole business comes direct from customer. So that’s how we think of a very durable and powerful business. We avoid the cycles. We avoid the other things.
Online I think it is particularly true, because the value of advertising inventory is very difficult, particularly as you have so much of it, you really lose the pricing power that you would like to have. So it is the impossible, to the point earlier about scarcity, it is really impossible to create scarcity in a purely digital environment.
So for us, we think a fair price directly with fewer customers than we would otherwise have is a better place to be. So far, the reaction from Times and Sunday Times readers has been very strong.
We had the experience in the U.S. with the Wall Street Journal, which has been a paid specialist digital product for a while, and it’s very successful at that, and it’s very successful at bundling subscriptions between print and digital and so on.
The Times and Sunday Times, we were coming from a different place because we had the free product out there for a time and sure enough our audience has contracted dramatically.
But the engagement of the audience is very strong, our advertisers are happy, they seem fine, because you are getting much more value from that core set of users who weren’t really coming in – they were the ones that we were selling anyway, and actually the numbers are looking very good.
So, we’ll release numbers again, and I think in a month-and-a-half or so around how those subscriptions are going, but it is pretty good.
The most interesting thing is that the app part of that, the sort of the iPad app, which has been a substantial number, is driving a frequency of reading that we were very surprised by.
Because in the newspaper business, the big problem is frequency, and people maybe used to buy four days a week. They go down to three and you have a big problem.
With the “Times” and “Sunday Times” app, we’re seeing dedicated readers downloading and consuming the app every single day of the week, spending 30, 40 minutes of time each go. And that is very encouraging.
The problem with that is that they stop buying the newspaper. So, the substitution is much starker than just with the website. That’s really a challenge for us, but it’s one that we’re very happy to take on.
Again, because the distribution dynamics are so much more favorable in an app environment than they are with printing, and trucks, and getting them across the country and all of that sort of business.
Kai: Are you actually going to put your biggest newspaper “The Sun” behind paywalls as well?
James: I could ask you the same about “Bild.”
Kai: Yeah, we would like to know what is going to happen in London.
James: Exactly. [laughs]
Kai: And get some of your experience.
James: Yeah, we’ve had this conversation, Kai.
Kai: Yeah, talking about Alicia.
James: Yeah, I think there’s a real question for the big, popular papers about how they tackle this, because the consumption for the customer is very, very different. And how they consume the newspaper is different from how they consume a “Times” [inaudible 24:07] or whatever it is.
So, I think we have to be very cautious about how we do that. We’ve taken “The News Of The world,” one of our other tabloids, a Sunday tabloid, and put that behind a pay wall. We’re looking at that very closely to see what that does to consumption and what sort of stories people will pay for and what they won’t.
I think you’ll see “The Sun” online strategy develop pretty quickly. I would be very confident that there will be a strong, paid component in it. Whether or not the pay wall is structured in the same way is a different question.
I think with different products, you have to have different theories about pricing. You have to have different flexibility. What we want to make sure is that we’re not being totally orthodox about one way and we end up going and messing something up, because we have to take care.
Kai: If we are talking about earning money in the new digital world, we have to talk about the new players, and we have to talk about how we view these new players. Starting with Google, Eric Schmidt will be on the stage here in a couple of minutes.
How do you see Google? Is Google either the thief that steals our content, or is Google, for us, the reliable partner that actually delivers the perfect kiosk?
James: Well, I think there are a lot of questions around how Google and what Google’s relationship is with copyright owners and copyright creators over the next number of years. I think it’s something that Google is very engaged on the subject.
It’s something that I think over the last 18 months, there’s been a big shift, in terms of the dialogue between copyright owners and Google. I don’t think we’ve gotten to a place yet where we really know the answer.
But I think negotiations are really underway, between various players in the industry and Google, to think about how do you get compensated for a copyrighted product that’s being indexed, to create a return that’s very, very large for Google itself.
I think that notion of getting paid, either a wholesale price, relative to how they get paid, or creating something, a marketplace, where we can sell our goods and get paid for indexing more attractively.
These are the things that are now on the table, whereas I think 18 months or six years ago, they weren’t even on the table at all.
Then people were saying, “Well, just be happy with getting all of this traffic. You should say thank you.” That’s not the conversation today that’s been going on. I think today, the conversation is much more constructive, with Newspass and other things.
But whether it comes to a good conclusion, I think is not sure yet. But I think, from our perspective, we’re very happy to try to work through different structures with Google and different ideas, to see what’s going to work.
It may be that it doesn’t work and we have to just to say, “Look, this just doesn’t work. We’re going to have to be much more assertive about the value of our copyright and the investment we make.” But I think everyone in good faith is trying to get to a result, before that has to happen in a big, blow-up way.
I think the good news is, there’s enough out there, between Apple and Google and other players, where you do have really a competitive dynamic between different ideas about how this works. I think that’s something that’s attractive.
The fundamental thing is we need publishers. That’s online publishers, as well as print publishers to start to assert the value of their copyrights more, in general. Because I think the more they do that, then the more sound the economic footing is going to be for people who want to invest in journalism in the first place.
Because if you don’t invest in journalism, then it’s a very scary thing. If you don’t invest in it, if you don’t have an incentive to invest in it, the only people who will be in the business are governments or oligarchs. I think that’s probably not a good outcome.
Kai: Eric Schmidt is coming on the stage in a couple of minutes. Is there anything you wish from him he could grant us to hear in public?
James: [laughs] Don’t you have to talk to Larry now?
Audience: [laughter and applause]
Kai: Talking about Apple, you have been working together with Apple on your new iPad, “The Daily.” Is there anything that you’ve really learned from Apple? Is there anything that Apple could be really helpful for you? Is Apple a partner for us?
James: Look, I think Apple has done – look, I think that we partner with Apple on a variety of different areas. One of the really interesting things, I’ve talked before about this notion of an all-media marketplace.
We work with Apple in our books business, with iBooks, at HarperCollins. We work with Apple in the movie business, selling through iTunes. We sell TV shows as well through Apple, and we have constant discussions around pricing of new sitcoms and al this business.
We work with Apple around the distribution of live TV, from Sky News to Sky Deutschland, with the Bundesliga apps, etc. And our newspaper business as well, through the apps.
So, I think what is really interesting is that you have a company there that, for a business like ours, which creates copyright material across the board, where there a number of different places where we make the business. Some of those businesses are better than others with Apple. I think we’re all learning our way through.
But I’d have to say that it’s been a very positive engagement. I think particularly on something we’re really doing new product innovation with some of the newspaper apps, as well as “The Daily.” We’ve had a huge amount of support from Apple, as well as in local markets around the world, at different levels of engagement.
I know here in Germany, for example, with Sky Deutschland and the Bundesliga app for live football on the iPad was a big collaboration between Apple and Sky Deutschland. And it was one that was very fruitful.
So, we obviously are going to have arguments around pricing, around bundling, around what the rules are in the app store, and how it works, and what certainty you can have.
But at the same time, I think, by and large, it’s been pretty positive, a year and a half, really, as this thing has changed fundamentally in the last very short period of time.
Kai: Usually “Bild” is about asking short questions and getting short answers. So, I’m going to ask you now a couple of short questions, where you are going to just answer with one sentence.
So, first of all, when is News Corp going to launch its first own tablet?
James: Not right now.
Kai: What are the most exciting things that you have been seeing in the last six months, the three most exciting things?
James: Oh, that’s interesting. The three most exciting things I saw in the last six months? Well, my, golly, that’s difficult. [laughs]
I actually think probably the most interesting, one of the most exciting things of the last six months, for me anyway, in our business, has been seeing how many of our customers are consuming our products across all these different things.
It’s really true. We see, I think it was something like 25 percent of the iPads in Germany have the Deutschland. This is a run-on sentence, but it’s going to be OK.
James: So, I think the pace of uptake has accelerated dramatically, and that’s very exciting. I think number two, I think…
I’m an enthusiast. I get excited about pretty much everything. I think in our business, the exciting thing today is that people are realizing that they have to deal with copyrights.
I think other exciting things for me are more about my children have learned to read. So, that’s a surprise and worthwhile.
And I saw some women, this was exciting. I don’t know how durable it is, but I saw some women graduate from the Officer Training Corp in Kabul.
They were only the second class of women who became officers in the Afghan National Army. There are only 50 of them now. I thought that these are the bravest women that I’ve ever seen in my life, and I thought that was pretty exciting.
Kai: What have been the three most frightening things you saw in the last six months?
James: I think the frightening things… I think probably the most frightening thing in my business and my life right now, I think you look at and you say… I think that press freedoms are being eroded in the Western world in a way that people don’t talk about enough.
I think we see, actually, there’s rules in Eastern Europe, coming through and Hungry, etc. We see a system of regulation around libel laws, around newspapers and things like that, that are really encroaching on investigative journalism and on press freedoms, in general. I think we see the continued encroachment of state media into our sector.
I think that is something that has to raise a flag, is very, very scary, and something that needs to be rolled back. That’s pretty scary.
Kai: We have been talking about new technologies, new business models, innovation… How many people like me, journalists, will you need in the future?
James: Hopefully more, because I think for us, actually, the incentive to invest in journalism is the thing that we need.
So, for us, we go and buy 120-some odd journalists for “The Daily.” And we’re still adding to our ranks at “The Times” and “The Wall Street Journal” and at Sky News and at Fox News, TG Vienticuatro, and Sky News Arabia, which is launching soon, and Star News. These are…
We think journalism and professional journalism is more important than ever. But we think that independent, commercial journalism is fundamental, because it’s the only way really that you have a real dialogue in a democracy.
So, hopefully, many, many more. But they don’t really make them like you that often.
Kai: Very last question: Will you finally get drunk with your people from Sky tonight?
James: Yeah. Well, we had a good go of it last night, so I’m still holding over. But the team at Sky is buoyant, but we’re working very, very hard. So, it’s very sober over there.
Kai: James Murdoch, thanks a lot.
James: Kai, thank you. Thank you, everyone.