The rocky road to News 2.0

Robert Clark
14 Dec 2009

Telcos ought to pay close attention to Rupert Murdoch's efforts to destabilize Google - and not just on the grounds of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Here's why. A lot of this the industry has internalized over the last dozen years, but it's worth reminding ourselves.

The obvious reason is the internet economy matters to all operators - whether they are selling raw data, middleware or apps - and even in Asia; everyone takes their cues from the US.

Additionally, many telcos themselves have content ambitions. They haven't been able to monetize content very well, though not for lack of trying. Telcos' next big hope, remember, is to embed mobile advertising in content, location and music services.

Let's remember many telcos have been in the classified ads game for a long time through the white and yellow pages. Like Murdoch, they've lost a lot of that business to the internet generally and to Google in particular.

So telecom operators have skin in this argument, even if it's ostensibly just about the future of blats.

The background is the collapse of newspaper revenue over the last ten years, brought to a head by the recession, which has seen dozens of American papers like the Rocky Mountain News and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer close down.

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