Murdoch: Content is still king

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Rupert Murdoch turned 75 last week, and he followed that milestone by stopping in London to visit The Worshipful Co. of Stationers & Newspaper Makers, a guild formed in 1403 to be the official producers of books and stationery. The group has since morphed into a sort of English Rotary Club, and most members toil in media.

What did he tell that audience? The age of the media mogul is over. His type is doomed to extinction as consumers take control of their media, and the company that will best serve these consumers might not be formed yet. "We probably haven't heard the name of what will be the world's largest company in 2020. Indeed that company may not even exist yet-although I hope that it does and that I know its name!" Murdoch said.

It's no longer guaranteed that those who control the media control the masses, he said. "Power is moving away from those who own and manage the media to ... consumers who are better educated, unwilling to be led and who know that in a competitive world they can get what they want, when they want it."

There is only one way for traditional media to engage this new, ornery audience: "Create and distribute dynamic, exciting content." But it must be repurposed to be delivered as e-mail alerts, blogs, podcasts or interactive debates. (Conveniently, News Corp.'s Times of London is offering Murdoch's speech as a podcast.) "Great content always has been, and I think always will be, king of the media castle," he said.
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