News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) President-CEO Chase Carey wants to stay ahead of the technology curve and that means keeping an eye on--and investment in--the digital entertainment space.
That's why the entertainment behemoth bought an equity stake in Roku, holds co-ownership of Hulu and is closely monitoring what Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is up to in Kansas City with its ultra-high-speed Google Fiber effort, Carey said during a fourth-quarter earnings conference call with analysts.
"The digital arena is going to be important to our future," said Carey, as quoted in a Home Media Magazine story. "You don't want to be spending ahead of the curve as a lot of business models have yet to evolve, but we think it's important for us to be active in this place and try and get insights to it."
News Corp., most prominently known for its FOX Network cable TV channels, 20th Century Fox movie studio and British satellite TV purveyor BSkyB has invested $45 million into Roku as a way to move the streaming media player manufacturer into the European market.
"Roku gives a little different window in the digital experience … adds some value to our satellites overseas … whether it's Sky Go or Sky on Demand … and how you develop that TV Everywhere concept as a satellite player," the story quoted Carey as saying.
Carey also said he is closely following the Google Fiber rollout in Kansas City and that Hulu provides one route to digital distribution while a "very small investment" in YouTube channels has "broadened its digital experience," the story added.
Financially speaking—and this was an earnings call, after all--News Corp. saw its quarterly revenue drop by $600 million to $8.4 billion, posting a net loss of $1.6 billion (64 cents per share) compared to net income of $683 million (26 cents per share) during the same quarter a year ago.
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