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更新时间:2015-6-16 9:31:18 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Young Murdoch Views TV as ‘Real Killer App’ in a New Digital World

Soon after James Murdoch moved back to New York from London a few years ago, a friend introduced him to a young tech entrepreneur named Joe Marchese.

几年前,在詹姆斯·默多克(James Murdoch)从伦敦搬回纽约后不久,一位朋友把他介绍给了一个名叫乔·马尔凯塞(Joe Marchese)的年轻科技企业家。

Mr. Murdoch, a son of Rupert Murdoch, was in line to ascend to the top of his father’s media empire and was curious to learn more about the fast-growing digital side of the business. Mr. Marchese was the co-founder of a small start-up called TrueX, an advertising technology company that replaced a slate of standard advertisements or video commercials — on the web, mobile and digital TV — with one interactive ad.

詹姆斯·默多克是鲁伯特·默多克(Rupert Murdoch)之子,他即将进入父亲的媒体帝国高层,而且对公司发展迅速的数字业务充满好奇,希望能了解更多相关信息。马尔凯塞是一家叫做TrueX的小型初创企业的联合创始人。TrueX是一家广告科技公司,它用一个互动广告,取代了一系列网络、移动设备和数码电视上的标准广告或视频广告。

The two started to meet nearly every month to talk about the future of the industry, and Mr. Murdoch later joined the board of the start-up. Earlier this year, 21st Century Fox, a Rupert Murdoch company, closed a deal valued at about $200 million to acquire TrueX and named Mr. Marchese, 33, a president of its Fox Networks Group.

后来,两人几乎每个月都会见面,就该行业的未来进行讨论。之后,默多克加入了这家初创企业的董事会。今年早些时候,鲁伯特·默多克的公司21世纪福克斯(21st Century Fox)完成了对TrueX的收购,并任命33岁的马尔凯塞担任其福克斯网络集团(Fox Networks Group)的一位部门总裁。据估计,此次交易的交易额约为2亿美元(约合12.4亿元人民币)。

Mr. Murdoch’s dealings with TrueX, as well as comments he has made at investors’ conferences and other appearances in the last two years, shed light on his vision for the future of 21st Century Fox as he prepares to take over as chief executive. People briefed on the company’s plans say that in the coming weeks, Rupert Murdoch, 84, is expected to appoint James to succeed him as chief executive, while elevating James’s brother, Lachlan, to the role of co-executive chairman.


Rupert Murdoch started his sprawling global media empire in 1954 with a single Australian newspaper. Now James, in partnership with Lachlan, will be responsible for steering 21st Century Fox through the digital disruption of the 21st century.


The company did not make James Murdoch available for an interview on Friday. But Mr. Murdoch has played a more prominent role with investors in the last year and also taken board positions on digital media companies including TrueX and Vice. His strategic moves and his remarks to investors suggest that digital streaming, new ad technologies and a continued international focus are likely to take priority and that he will press forward aggressively with new initiatives.


“There’s a lot of talk about the ecosystem and the industry and a lot of — as if everybody can get together and find the answer,” Mr. Murdoch, 42, said during an investor conference in December. “I think actually a better way to innovate is just to get on with doing things.”


One area of innovation where Mr. Murdoch has focused is online streaming and advertising technologies. In the face of staggering ratings declines for traditional television and an explosion of digital viewing, Mr. Murdoch has said that figuring out new advertising models for online viewing will be essential.


“I’m not underestimating the challenges in getting there,” he said at a conference last month, “but the streaming environment is a better ad platform and should be a better ad platform if we can be engaging, if we can be immersive with advertising, we can have lighter ad loads and a better product experience for viewers that they’re getting what they want.”


Asked whether he would consider creating a streaming service for some Fox networks that would not require a traditional cable subscription, Mr. Murdoch mentioned the possibility of a service that included Fox, FX, Fox Sports, Fox News and National Geographic. Such a service, he said, would be a “very simple, very compelling offering.”

当被问及他是否考虑为一些福克斯电视网络创建一个不需要传统有线订阅的流媒体服务时,默多克提到了开发一个囊括福克斯、FX、福克斯体育(Fox Sports)、福克斯新闻(Fox News)和国家地理(National Geographic)的服务的可能性。他说,这样的服务将会是一种“非常简单、非常有吸引力的选择”。

“So we like seeing all of that together,” he added, “and we think the families who buy these services and individuals who buy these services also get quite a lot of value out of that.”


With the proliferation of digital screens and streaming outlets, Mr. Murdoch has said that the value of great television shows and films will soar. “The real killer app in digital is actually TV,” he said at the conference in December. “There’s a huge amount of demand for high-quality, scripted entertainment and sports. And that’s really what we focus our investments a lot on, not just here but everywhere around the world.”


Mr. Murdoch’s global perspective is likely to greatly influence his perspective as chief executive. He now lives in his childhood home of New York but has lived and worked around the world. Earlier in his career, he was the chief executive of the British telecom BSkyB and the chief executive of Star, Fox’s Asian satellite television group.


One analyst recently called Mr. Murdoch an expert on international business because he spends “so much time there. ” Mr. Murdoch replied by saying: “I don’t know what there is when you say international, right? And I say that because it’s an important point. I don’t think we look at it as kind of the U.S. and everything else.”


Some analysts have questioned whether the company will take a more active role in deal making with the Murdoch sons at the helm. The industry is bracing for a potential wave of acquisitions among entertainment companies after a series of big deals among cable and satellite companies. The question is whether James Murdoch will champion those deals. Last year, he was involved in Fox’s unsuccessful bid for Time Warner.

一些分析人士曾质疑,如果默多克兄弟掌权,该公司在达成交易方面是否会更加积极、主动。在有线、卫星电视公司达成一系列重要交易后,该行业可能即将迎来娱乐公司并购的浪潮。问题是詹姆斯·默多克是否会支持这些交易。默多克去年参与了福克斯收购代华纳(Time Warner)的项目,但以失败告终。

Mr. Murdoch said last month that the company was “not really” interested in expanding further into American cable networks, but that it was keen to boost its capabilities in creating television and film. He said that the company also was focused on faster-growing markets outside the United States, such as India and Latin America. As an example of recent deals, he pointed to the company’s purchase of an original broadcaster in India and the acquisition last year of a majority stake in the Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network.

默多克在上个月表示,该公司“并非真正”有意扩张到美国有线电视网络领域,但他们渴望提高创作电视节目和电影的能力。他表示,该公司也关注除美国之外的快速发展的市场,比如印度和拉丁美洲。至于最近达成的交易,他提到了公司收购印度本土广播公司的项目,以及去年收购扬基娱乐及体育电视网(Yankees Entertainment and Sports Network)大部分股份的交易。