Blog Post

Elisabeth Murdoch: ‘Borderline Piracy May Be Our Best Outlet’

While father Rupert Murdoch decries the “theft” of his news content, is his daughter Elisabeth admitting that some piracy must actually be accepted?

Fans remain the best salesmen of our content, even if that behavior is on the borderline of piracy. Danger of the new world is that we must concede that we’ll lose some control,” Murdoch, who owns TV producer Shine, said in a speech to the NATPE TV conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday. That must take us to “the borderline of piracy”, she said, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

“We can no longer afford to be [a] one-screen business. Social networks are finally the interactive dimension of storytelling. We now need to evolve with our audience. To resist this would be like resisting Technicolor.”

Last September, Shine formed a division to focus on exploiting social media channels for its original content, and it appointed Joanna Shields, ex-Bebo/AOL (NYSE: AOL) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG), to run it.

Like other production companies, Shine is focused on creating new business by taking its content beyond TV channels. “‘The Biggest Loser’ [one of the company’s reality-TV productions] now exists as a thriving business that lives well beyond broadcast itself,” said Murdoch (via LATimes). The show spawned a Wii game, which has sold 500,000 copies worldwide. No word on how many pirated copies, though.