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Murdoch wants media to unite against Amazon and Netflix

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NEW DELHI: Media magnate Rupert Murdoch has called for a cooperative media response to challenger streaming services Amazon and Netflix.

He said during a technology conference by his flagship Wall Street Journal at Laguna Beach that the media industry needs its own competitor to these giants.

“As an industry, we need a competitor – a serious competitor – to Netflix and Amazon,” Murdoch said and added, “I think we are all on the same page.”

21st Century Fox, which he chairs, is one of the partners in Hulu, a rival to Netflix, alongside Disney and NBCUniversal. Last year, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar left abruptly for a new video startup, Vessel, backed by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Talking of HBO’s new streaming service Murdoch said it would be difficult for HBO to launch a standalone service while negotiating with cable companies. “They do not want to get into conflict with them, so they’re really only aiming at the moment at the 10 million people who don’t get cable.”

Murdoch briefly addressed 21st Century Fox's failed bid for Time Warner over the summer. "We felt that we needed more critical mass and content and this was a wonderful marriage and fit," he said. 

Given that the panel was entitled "Bets Won and Lost," the conversation turned to one of Murdoch's most notable failed investments, the $580 million purchase of MySpace that ended with the sale of the social media site for $35 million. The mogul reiterated, as he has many times, what happened.  

"We just messed it up," Murdoch recalled, saying that he helped install a layer of bureaucracy that hindered the growth of the site. "It was a series of expensive, lost opportunities." 

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