An unusual story for WaPo…it offers a rather colorful take on Fox Interactive Media’s spiraling empire in L.A. News Corp. is housing many of its digital properties in one modern building in Beverly Hills (check the layout of the building here)….there are some 700 employees of Fox Interactive Media toiling away in the building, including folks from MySpace, AmericanIdol.com, FoxSports.com, Fox Interactive Media Mobile, and Fox’s digital labs. WaPo reports that while the Fox digerati plug away trying to turn MySpace into advertising gold, among other things, News Corp.’s digital businesses reported $1.4 billion in revenue in the past 12 months; revenues are not broken out for the Fox Interactive division. Interestingly, the paper points out that the number is just one-quarter of what News Corp.’s movie studio raked in over the same period.
Fox Interactive, it reports, lost $150 million in operating income over the past year (Read the comment below from Fox Interactive PR on clarification on this: the $150 million dollar loss reported by News Corp was for the entire business segment (including News Corp overhead, NDS, etc.) of which the Fox Interactive Media division is a part). Well, you gotta spend money to make money, right?
With most of the digital sibling divisions under one roof, can synergy and collaboration be far behind? Naturally, Fox and more importantly, its News Corp. overlords hope so. Naturally, the name of the game is seamless content delivery across multiple platforms–TV, filmed entertainment, wireless phones and handsets, and of course, the Web. But can all that content be monetized? That’s the $64,000 or, maybe we should say the $64 million dollar question.
Interestingly, Fox Interactive, WaPo points out, has to make its own way in the News Corp. jungle. While there is a desire for cross-pollination, perhaps there is no mandate or quid pro quo. The division recently inked a deal with sibling 20th Century Fox to sell downloads of the studio’s films and TV shows but it has run into resistance too on compensation issues around TV production. However, Levinsohn says that since much of the content the division is dealing with is user-generated, compensation for content creators is mostly moot. Of course this too is changing as Hollywood studios, agents, and production companies scramble to secure deals with amateur content producers.