As new users are winding down their first week spent with the iPad, News Corporation chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch is going on record that the device (and others similar to it) could be the “savior” of the newspaper business.
“It may well be the saving of the newspaper industry,” Murdoch proclaimed. His reasoning was that it will make it cheaper to distribute content to a broader audience, including driving down costs such as paper, ink, printing and trucks.
“There’s going to be tens of millions of these things sold all over the world,” the chief executive said, fully expecting that the iPad will have eight or nine competitors within 12 months.
“I’m old, I like the tactile experience of the newspaper,” the exec admitted. “(But) if you have less newspapers and more of these, that’s okay. It doesn’t destroy the traditional newspaper, it just comes in a different form.”
Murdoch’s News Corp. owns print, television and film companies, including The Wall Street Journal and social network MySpace. The exec also used the forum to reaffirm that his company will continue its efforts to squash Google poaching its content for free, defending the idea of charging for online content.
“I think most newspaper in this country are going to be putting up a pay wall for online content,” he concluded. But the exec was quick to suggest that readers shouldn’t balk at the idea, since “No one’s going to ask for a lot of money.”