News Corp moves into social gaming space

Fresh from exploits with the Daily and its expansion into Europe, News Corp has signalled its intent to “organically build up” its own social gaming business.

OK wow so this is traditional media moving at lightning speed… but to where?

I’m still surrounded by skeptics (me included) of the Daily’s success in the first place, so I wonder if perhaps all of this movement can be a little too much, too fast. Talking about the Daily’s success, I couldn’t help but notice the quote from News Corp’s head of digital about how many downloads they’ve had:

Jonathan Miller also said News Corp’s The Daily, a newspaper designed for Apple’s iPad, had had hundreds of millions of downloads since its launch in the United States last month. It will begin charging readers for subscriptions next week.

Hundreds of millions of downloads in the US? Really? With a population of 350+ million are they then saying then a significant majority of Americans have downloaded the Daily?

Wait… are there even hundreds of millions of iPads?

Or is this counting the number of downloads per day as a unique download, which seems to be the likely scenario. But even then, a few hundred million is nothing to sneeze at if that figure is indeed true.

In any case, an online or iOS “paper” is quite different from a social gaming app, site or business, which in turn is quite different from what MySpace has turned into right now.

Actually, what has MySpace turned into? Apparently, they’re still trying to figure that out.

“We’re in the process of figuring out strategically what to do. Do we get partners in it, does it turn itself into another business, or is there an outright scale?” Miller said of MySpace. “We’re just right now really starting that in earnest.”

So is it really a good idea to start dabbling in a whole new digital space before sorting an existing one out? Well who knows?

One last thing, Mr Miller says at the end:

“We have our beginning moment of truth next when we start to ask people to get out their wallets,” he said.

Too right. You and the rest of the media world will be watching.


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