Murdoch, WiMAX and The Two Way Web

Om Malik has a post by Robert Young which gives an interesting view on how the media world is changing:

By integrating content and distribution, Murdoch has built a media empire that is finely tuned to optimize market control and profits in a one-way broadcast world. But now, as the market reaches a tipping point with high-speed internet access, and with ad dollars rapidly flowing into the broadband web, Murdoch faces the challenge of transforming his conglomerate into one that is optimized for a two-way interactive world. Of course, he already tried once back in the 90s, but now hes back on the M&A trail with renewed vigor. Yet there is a critical question Murdoch needs to address during strategic planning sessions, and before he unloads billions of aggregate dollars into more deals: What is his strategic objective for distribution in an interactive world? Does he still want to own distribution, or does he not care?

The best ally for Murdoch is Intel, the champion of WiMax. Intel envisions WiMax to be the third high-speed Internet access alternative, and therefore, they are becoming a natural enemy to cable broadband and telco DSL. Whats in it for Intel? Frankly a reason to sell more laptop chips. Just like nearly every laptop is now built-in with an Intel WiFi chips, they are looking forward to a future market where every conceivable computing device is WiMax-capable (including satellite dishes). Moreover, judging from their recent joint venture with actor Morgan Freeman, launching an online movie download service called ClickStar, Intel clearly has Hollywood aspirations.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.