No Longer an App for That
#RealTalk Dave McClure, our favorite giver of zero fucks, went on a bit of a Twitter tear the other day. It started with the admission that he’d “just had really hard tough love talk w/ startup founder. fucking sucks, but better harsh truth than bullshit ‘you’ll make it work’ lies.” He didn’t stop there, adding that ”what really sucks is none of other investors (incl big lead VC) have the balls 2 tell them its not going 2 fucking work & shut it down.”
He concluded: “the Silicon Valley story is indeed the 1% story of Instagram $1B win, but also 99% broken dreams, shattered hopes & try, try again. sigh.”
Rupert Murdoch’s less than two-year-old foray into digital-only publishing has officially come to an end with the news that The Daily, News Corp.’s iPad-only magazine, will cease publication on December 15th. Some of The Daily’s assets and 120 employees will transition over to other News Corp. entities; Jesse Angelo, its editor-in-chief, will serve as the new publisher of the New York Post.
Rupert Murdoch joining Twitter was one of the more shocking developments in the history of microblogging; not so much because it was an old person using Twitter, or an old, famous person using Twitter, but because it was an old, famous, media conglomerate chief using Twitter. They’re not exactly the type to engage with the public. It would seem, only a few weeks after joining, he has finally got the hang of the thing.
Yesterday we had a blast going over Rupert Murdoch’s first foray into Twitter, the scolding he got from his wife and his spat with Jack Dorsey. But this morning it turned out Wendi Deng’s Twitter account was a fake, even though it had been verified by Twitter for a time yesterday.
“You might ask ‘why didn’t I tell them?’ But surely Twitter should be checking out its Verified status more carefully? No?” the user behind the parody account tweeted this morning. “It might be only a small matter, but you have to worry about the management of News International and Twitter if they can both readily confirm, for a while at least, that this was the account of a very noted personality.”
Octogenarian media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s New Year’s resolution to improve his presence on social media is off to a smashing start. Mr. Murdoch joined Twitter on Saturday and fired off this tweet from his vacation home in the Caribbean.
Betabeat was sceptical when we first heard about Beyond Oblivian, a New York based music startup that got $87 million in backing from big names like Allen & Co., Sony and News. Corp. The startup aimed to take on Spotify by offering an unlimited music streaming service with no monthly fee. Instead the service came baked into smartphones, adding around $60 to the cost of each device,
Seems like our doubts were well founded. The Financial Times is reporting that has shut down before it even launched.
News of the News Corp.
Despite an already crowded marketplace for cloud jukebox services like Spotify and Rhapsody, not to mention streaming radio services (Pandora and the upcoming iTunes Match), the Financial Times reports that a New York start-up called Beyond Oblivion plans to launch an unlimited music service later this year, under the unfortunately-named brand Boinc (Beyond Oblivion’s initials + Inc.). How does one pronounce that exactly? Boink? Beau-ink?
Beyond Oblivion will be selling its cloud-based library of millions of songs by bundling it with the cost of a smartphone or PC. Users get free streaming music for the life of their device, with an extra $50 to $70 per device naked into the purchase price. The idea is to mitigate revenues lost to illegal downloads. However, and this is a very big but, when Nokia tried to do pretty much the same thing with its Comes with Music service, the company was forced to scrap the effort after two years due to limited success.
The start-up picked up $77 million from an investment round back in March that included Rupert Murdoch’s media conglomerate and Wellcome Trust. That’s on top of a $10 million round for Allen & Company and Intertrust Technologies, a joint venture between Sony and Philips.
The full News. Corp board will meet this week to discuss the fallout from the News of the World “Phone Hacking” scandal and then, on Wednesday, deliver its end of year financial report which it hopes will shift attention and allow the company to move on.
The big news on the tech side is that News Corp. finally sold off the long suffering Myspace, which had been a perpetual eye sore on its quarterly results. The purchase price wasn’t enough to move the needle, but it will stem the losses in the interactive division. The cable division and Fox in particular, are expected to deliver their typically stellar results.
Beg Borrow and Steal
Not everyone was pessimistic about Myspace, writes Dan Primack over at Term Sheet. At least one VC tried hard to wrest control of the company back from News Corp before the media dinosaur could drive it into the ground: Redpoint Ventures partner Geoff Yang, who tripled his money by investing in Myspace months before the acquisition.
Despite handing out pink slips to almost 40 percent of its employees and putting another 40 percent on a transition plan that will keep them on staff as they look for new gigs, Myspace seems likely to sell for a fraction of the $580 million News Corp paid for it back in the summer of Read More