Rupert Murdoch’s latest move flies in the face of the fact that we are now living in the new content age
In July last year, at the height of the News of the World phone-hacking scandal, The Message predicted that the decision by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation to close the Sunday newspaper after almost 168 years wasn’t all that seemed.
‘…this seems like little more than a publicity stunt,’ we wrote. ‘The Sun will probably now extend its publication run to seven days a week, meaning that the ‘News of the Screws’ will still exist in everything but name.’
And so it came to pass, because it has just been announced that The Sun on Sunday will be starting this week. In this modern age of online and social media content, though, it seems that Murdoch (who famously bought MySpace for $580 million only to sell it six years later for just $35 million to, among others, Justin Timberlake) may have again underestimated the ever-changing nature and appeal of online content.
New figures suggest that of News of the World’s 2.7 million readers (it was the UK’s highest-circulating newspaper, albeit down from its peak when it regularly attracted over four million a week), two-thirds have moved on to rival papers such as The People, while the remaining 900,000 are now favouring other sources for their Sunday mix of ‘news’, gossip, sport and sensationalism.
Those figures also show that newspaper circulation across the board in Britain is declining by between five and 30 per cent (depending on the paper). Welcome to the new content age…
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