There's a lingering perception that traditional media companies aren't open to technological progress. However, a quick glance at their history of acquisitions suggests that this idea is misguided. On Friday, New Corps further dispelled that myth when the media giant shelled out $25 million for Storyful.
The Ireland-based startup curates new-based social media content, including justice-related stories like protests and violent conflict. Newsy, a similar company, was acquired for $35 million by print corporation Scripps.
These acquisitions, while relatively modest, represent both a continuation of print media's commitment to progress and also a realization of the importance of savvy in that goal. In 2005, News Corp acquired MySpace for $580 million, only to sell it for less than a tenth of the price just six years later. By comparison, the Storyful deal shows restraint -- and a lesson learned. An article in Wired discussed the shift.
"In the present boom, traditional media companies seem to be moving more cautiously, spending much smaller sums on practical deals involving little startups with obviously useful innovation. Before springing for Storyful, News Corp bought Skiff, an e-reading startup that complements its book company HarperCollins, and iList, an online classifieds company (disclosure: HarperCollins paid me to write a book)," says author Ryan Tate.
In order to facilitate these deals, larger companies will no doubt want to acquire IT contractor liability insurance. This sort of coverage will help protect them in situations that are technologically novel, and help make these sorts of forward-thinking mergers a viable way for old companies to stay relevant.