Media Economics 101

From the Popbitch email newsletter, this simple example should go some way to explain why Rupert Murdoch is an exceedingly rich man:

The story of that Harry Nazi photo

The infamous Harry Nazi snap was taken by a reveller at the ludicrious “colonialists and natives” party, but the photos were mainly of William rather than his brother. The snapper took them to the men at the Sun, who instantly noticed Harry, and paid £8,000 to the dimwit in exchange for signing away the copyright.

The result? The Sun will make upwards of 500,000 pounds from people using the photo. The Mail alone paid the Sun £50k to use it the very next day. The tabloid has also insisted that the Sun’s logo appears when the photo is used on TV.

So lets have a look at the math:

  • Within 12 hours The Sun had turned a 556 per cent profit on the pictures

  • In total they expect to earn a colossal 5,560 per cent profit on picture sales alone (this is likely to be earned over a three month period)
  • Plus the increased newspaper sales
  • Plus the equivalent advertising value of having The Sun’s logo on UK prime time television news