Speaking of MySpace, an article in today's Financial Times notes a new research tool for media professionals trying to make sense of the digital age: their children. "Media executives," the paper reports, "are scrambling to understand a variety of new technologies and internet services that did not exist only a few years ago but are now rapidly remaking their industry." And it's not just harried moms asking their kids about ringtones in the car on the way to soccer practice.
One brokerage, UBS, went so far as to recruit the 18-year-old sister-in-law of one of its analysts to provide a demonstration of MySpace, the social network site, for about 50 portfolio managers. "A lot of investors who analyse News Corp haven't actually used MySpace," said Aryeh Bourkoff, the UBS media analyst who arranged the presentation.
For some, it only added to their confusion.
"After about five minutes, one of the older gentlemen said: 'What is this? What are you doing? Why do people care about this?'" Mr Bourkoff recalled.
That's what we love about elderly News Corp investors. They grew up getting their barely legal porn in brown paper bags and, goddamn it, they're not going to change now.
Media veterans find expertise at home [FT, r/r]