News Corp’s new global technology chief wants to learn from big tech platforms, and to keep his brands publishing through social sites – but only if the deal stacks up.
This month, he was confirmed in the role of chief technology officer after Paul Cheesbrough moved along to the same role at sister company 21st Century Fox. So what is in Marc Frons inbox already? For one, it is the big beasts.
According to recent reports, some publishers are cooling on Facebook, with some pulling out of Instant Articles altogether. And it’s clear there is growing publisher resentment toward what is being cast as the “duopoly” of Google and Facebook in digital ad dollars.
But Frons strikes a measured tone.
“It’s important for us to stay on these platforms – but in a way that makes sense for our businesses and our readers,” he tells Beet.TV in this video interview.
“In the beginning, everybody was rushing to put their content on Facebook or giving Google all of their content just because they wanted the traffic and the distribution. It’s clear that that’s a model that’s not sustainable.
“But, on the other hand, you can’t pull back entirely either. There has to be a balance and middle ground.”
Frons’ approach to technology will involve making some 4,000 tech workers across the sprawling News Corp group work more closely together.
And he wants to proceed in a way that makes the company agile and open to taking tech risks.
“Where news organisations can learn from Silicon Valley is this way of iterating and experimenting toward the truth or the better outcome, instead of having a more ideological approach,” Fronts adds.