RTS Cambridge Convention: 21st Century Fox chief executive James Murdoch has criticised streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon for their lack of investment in jobs in the UK creative industries.

He expressed concerned that SVoD players make a lot of noise about how much they are investing – but don’t do so over the long term.

“They show up, they do a big splashy deal with something and everyone fawns over them and says this is a great thing. I think there are very few companies that actually over the long term really invest in thousands and thousands of people on the ground in TV and creative markets like the UK, like Italy, like India.”

Murdoch added: “We have to be cautious of the shiny new thing and think about where is the new investor really coming from and what is supporting the creative economy in a broader way in these markets.”

Speaking at the RTS Cambridge Convention, Murdoch also warned content creators that that the SVoD players “are where your shows and movies go to die. They become another hour on the shelf of billions of hours that are there to get searched for.”

Murdoch acknowledged that Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Netflix are “raising the bar” in terms of the amount that companies spend on content.

But he said companies like Fox or Sky made better long term partners for creatives. “When I look at our successful programmes, I think we actually invest more because we actually partner with our creative partners. I don’t think Jim Brooks would ever have made the same returns and created what he created selling the Simpsons to Netflix or Amazon.”

Tim Dams

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