Murdoch's media empire pushes ahead with paid-for content drive

News Corp invests in digital content tech

News Corporation has invested in two firms related to online journalism, a move that bolsters the Murdoch-owned company’s commitment to paid-for digital content.

The company has acquired Skiff, an e-content platform designed to deliver media to devices such as tablets, e-readers, smartphones and netbooks, and has also invested in Journalism Online, a firm that helps publishers monetise their online offerings.

The financial terms of both agreements have not been disclosed.

Jon Miller, News Corporation’s chief digital officer, said the deals “underscore News Corporation’s ongoing commitment to create strong business models that support journalism at a time of great change in our industry.”

The Skiff platform is used to create layouts for digital newspaper and magazine content, while Journalism Online’s e-commerce platform allows publishers to choose and adjust options for paid access to content. This includes the ‘metered model’ under which only the heaviest readers will pay for full access.

Former Fox executive Jon Housman has also been named as News Corp’s president of digital journalism initiatives, responsible for driving and managing new business efforts in digital journalism.

News Corp’s CEO Rupert Murdoch has long been a staunch advocate of paid-for online content. Some of the firm’s publications already charge for access, including The Times’ recently revamped website.

The corporation also previously held talks to remove its content from Google.

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