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Content Review in the Week Before Google

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The big news of the past week or so, in the life before Google and YouTube, might have been Rupert Murdoch looking around to buy a blogging platform, blogged by GigaOm but a story that is, in fact, nearly six months old, or indeed Al Gore's Current TV coming to Europe in a deal with Murdoch's Sky.

How about the fact that online advertising will exceed broadcast advertising by the end of the decade?

Perhaps it would be Geroge Lucas announcing he doesn't want to do films anymore — not that he's bored, but because the budgets can't be sustained and because the future is about volume.

Or the two new video news operators that have been set up on a shoestring, Michael Rosenblum's new project in the USA and 18 Doughty St in the U.K.

Indeed, it could be the Washington Examiner's new citizen media/networked journalism project. Or the observation that American media are experiencing a decline in audience share worldwide.

Worth a mention, too, is Warner Brothers' decision to shut down its online production division. Or maybe the founder of Endemol (Big Brother inventors) announcing the future is only about cross-platform projects.

These snippets of news tell us a whole lot is going on, that one of the world's biggest media moguls having snapped up MySpace sees platforms as his best way forward — to blogging and to user-generated TV.

They tell us volume at low cost is far and away the most important part of the media tag race. Volume, volume, volume, which, of course, is what Murdoch bought with MySpace, and which he'll spin out across his TV and newspaper interests.

For any newspaper reading this — volume. Ramp up the supplements. Bulk out the websites. And buy up platforms — traditionally, power has resided with platforms — broadcasters owned networks, papers owned the printing press.

More importantly, though, they show how an established media player like Murdoch sees strategy on the whole — take up the technology platform, engineer yourself into a leading position in free content, monetise it in every way.

The Murdochs make other media companies look pedestrian. But while Newscorp action is news, there's also been plenty going on at the grassroots: low costs soap type products over at Zabberbox, the emergence of ultra low-cost production company Digital Magics into European TV/web production, the news that net citizen media pioneer Netzeitung is profitable, 18 DoughtyStreet beginning to broadcast, and the progress of Floaters.

This past week or so has seen plenty going on at both ends of the spectrum, where the media moguls take giant strides and the upstarts keep plugging away.

Story of the past week or so, though, was this: Murdoch really gets it. Buy the platform. Buy the platform Google.

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