News Corp buys Skiff

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has bought e-reader company Skiff. This marks the entry of NewsCorp into the digital reader market. Skiff, a Hearst-backed company helps distribute newspaper and magazine content to e-readers and other devices.

Along with Skiff, News Corp also announced on Monday its investment in Journalism Online, a company that helps publishers reap revenue from online news.

The deal for Skiff includes only the software distribution platform and does not include its e-reader device, which has not yet gone on sale to the public.

The financial terms of both the deals were not disclosed.

What does the deal signify:

Both big players and market experts are sure of the direction the content consumption is moving to—Tablets or e-readers.
Now there are broadly two ways to enter the market: either by selling the device or by controlling the software which distributes content on these devices (tablets or e-readers). As both go hand in hand.

Going by one’s expertise and comfort, companies are choosing one of the two.

News Corp’s Skiff buy represents the latter route. Through Skiff, News Corp is hoping to be better positioned to distribute its content not only to the crowded field of e-readers but also to smartphones and netbooks.

News Corp's latest investments underscore the company's seriousness about charging for online news and delivering content on various devices, just like it did Wall Street Journal online, The Times of London, a News Corp property,. Both having paid subscription plan.

Other players like Amazon's Kindle, Sony Corp Reader, Barnes & Noble's Nook and Apple's iPad tablet have primarily chosen the device route. --------

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