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Murdoch’s speech at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit

Murdoch’s speech at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit

News Corp boss tells UAE that censorship of the media is "counterproductive" in his address to the Abu Dhabi Media Summit.

March 9, 2010 7:21 by

Take television. Right now television is still a young market in this part of the world. The potential, however, is huge. If you want higher-quality television, you need a transparent market that helps ensure that people receive a fair price for the value they create.

– A more transparent advertising market means having effective tools to measure who and what people are watching. Advertisers and creators need metrics that tell them who they are reaching and how effective their message is – or else they are simply throwing money in the dark.

– A more transparent advertising market will also encourage media buyers and sellers to compete for business. By contrast, opaque markets tend to be unfairly dominated by one or two players. This can be a cozy arrangement for those players. But a nation pays a very high price for this cozy arrangement – because it takes away the financial engine needed to drive investment in local content.

Advertising is only one part of this financial engine. In many parts of the world, we are finding that the best way to finance quality content is by having a balance of advertising and subscription revenue. So a thriving creative sector also needs to be open to new business models that allow companies to know their customers better. The stronger the relationship between media companies and their customers, the more they will cater to local tastes – and invest in the technology that makes for a better experience. That’s exactly what we are doing with our Sky pay-television businesses in the U.K., Italy, and now Germany and India.

Some people will say that you cannot build a creative sector here. I do not believe that for a moment. The beauty of creativity is that the raw materials are all in the human mind. With the right economic incentives, you will find creative Arab enterprises rising higher and faster than your most modern buildings.

Another critical ingredient for a vibrant creative sector is global competition. Our company operates in almost every media market in the world. Everywhere I have been, one thing is clear: the local companies that are in the best position to challenge us are those whose home markets are open to foreign competition.

Sometimes nations seek to promote their own creative industries by limiting foreign participation and protecting local producers. And sometimes these restrictions and protections do keep us from entering such a market – or limit us to a tiny share.

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