Blog Post

Next Step: Making MySpace Pay

Second only to Yahoo in page views but with an estimated less than one-twentieth of the older company’s revenue, MySpace.com is now trying to catch up in pay views. The average cost per thousand now: a little more than a dime. Saul Hansell walks through the not-always-in-sync efforts by parent News Corp. and MySpace co-founders Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson. Some tidbits:
— News Corp.’s cash — $20 million so for — is helping MySpace replace a “shaky computer system” and hire “armies” of sales reps.
— A second sales force tied to Fox TV sales to help pitch big advertisers, building on DeWolfe’s idea that advertisers can be part of the community “so that the young people who often spend hours each day on MySpace can become “friends” with movies, cellphone companies and even deodorants.”
— FIM president Ross Levinsohn is also looking at ways to make money from the bands and video producers using MySpace, something DeWolfe naysayed during an interview. DeWolfe: “We never thought charging bands was a viable business model.” DeWolfe also brushed aside an idea from new FIM COO Mark Jung to woo small businesses to MySpace. He would rather focus on European expansion and mobile efforts.
— Tests with Yahoo, Google and other text ad providers are not turning up up hoped-for results. Levinsohn said the companies aren’t sure they can provide enough ads to fill MySpace’s copious pages and that they’re concerned about the efficiency of advertising in a social atmosphere.
–The two co-founders got multi-million bonuses to make up for the small amount realized when Intermix was acquired by News Corp.