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Monday, July 17, 2006

Murdoch’s Baba O’Riley

Currently loads of people think Rupert Murdoch is brilliant with his purchase of MySpace and philosophise how he really gets the internet now – I’m not so sure it will work out so good for Murdoch in the end.

Personally, I think Murdoch has been worried for quite some time about declining audiences in his print, TV & Film media and wondering where the youth of today has gone in search of its’ kicks. The journey reminds me of the words of the classic Pete Townsend song:
Sally ,take my hand
Travel south crossland
Put out the fire
Don't look past my shoulder
The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let's get together
Before we get much older

Teenage wasteland
It's only teenage wasteland
Teenage wasteland
Oh, oh
Teenage wasteland
They're all wasted!
So Murdoch has found where the youth of today spends its' time and now is the proud owner of wasteland. He knows better than most the anarchic mess it is in and how much the kids love the anarchy. As the network approaches it peak audience, MySpace will be at its’ peak funding requirement and as the inevitable commercialisation occurs Murdoch will be closely monitoring
how many people leave the network. It will be interesting to see if the rump that are left will be suffice for Murdoch to make a return on money on the overall project – this is where my doubtsset in. The problem that Murdoch has got is that doesn’t take a lot of money to create a social networking site and the trend setters who attract the vast numbers hate commercialisation especially in their idealistic teenage years. In other words will MySpace became a victim of churn?

Although Baba O’Riley is a great track, it is more known for the production innovation Pete Townsend invented: the groundbreaking use of a short minimalist electronic sample throughout the song. This has been repeated in hundreds of thousands of songs since especially as the cost of computing has fallen to make it possible for the masses to replicate the technique. Pete Townsend hasn’t earned a penny from the mass copying of the technique and I don't think he cares that he hasn't and in the process has kept the image of being one of rocks great icons to millions. Myspace might go the same way for Murdoch – it becomes famous for creating a blueprint how to build an online community of trend setters. Tom might remain as an icon for the internet community, but I doubt in the long run Rupert will.