LA Times Owner Ventures Into Gaming as Way to Evolve with News Biz
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Times, has made a strategic investment in H1Z1 creator Daybreak Game Company. With Soon-Shiong's investment via his company Nantworks, the two entities will create a new joint development and publishing venture called NantG Mobile. Soon-Shiong told The Washington Post that he sees the investment as part of an ambitious strategy to both combat fake news and shore up the Times’ position among young people and sports fans across the nation. Recognizing that most young people get their news from social networks and other digital sources, Soon-Shiong wants to spread the footprint of his company’s reporting on platforms where this audience already spends its time. With his move into esports and video gaming, Soon-Shiong is moving in the direction he believes is the next phase of the newspaper business -- where newspapers expand their footprint to become full-on media brands, with diverse platforms, including live events, social media, websites, TV, and media services. “We could take an engine like this and find a way to enhance a different form of social network, and games add an element of storytelling,” he said. According to research by Reuters, 64% of millennials use digital outlets to get their news, 33% of those people use social media as their primary news source. And only 24% of millennials still watch TV news. Soon-Shiong’s investment is also part of the LA Times larger strategy to position itself as a go-to destination for sports coverage. Soon-Shiong also has a minority stake in the NBA’s Lakers. The city will also host the Super Bowl in 2022 and the Olympic Games in 2028. Also as a part of Nantworks' investment and control, Soon-Shiong will join the Board of Directors for Daybreak. More here.