Blog Post

Murdoch, MySpace & More

Rupert Murdoch’s claim of surprise that MySpace.com has grown so fast without any marketing may be the mogul’s most disingenuous moment in a lengthy conversation with Diane Mermigas. That rapid growth was one of the attractions for Fox Interactive Media when it won the MySpace bidding war last summer — and Murdoch has been monitoring and talking about the post-acquisition growth spurt throughout the year. Murdoch spent much of the conversation trying to keep MySpace in perspective within FIM and News Corp., saying, “It will be more than just the ‘other’ line. A key cornerstone? It’s too early to say that.” He also said he doesn’t see a major acquisition coming soon. (That doesn’t mean he’d abstain, though, from the right one.) More excerpts:
On user-gen, p2p: “I’m quite comfortable with it. The important thing is that you have to realize it. You have to accommodate and change.”
On international expansion: “It will be a little bit different in each country. The English-speaking world will be easy. We will have to think about going with a slightly different model or architecture in Japan or Germany or some other countries. It will be driven by exactly the same principles. Young people are the same everywhere. They are curious. They want to take control of things. They want to live in their own world.”
On MySpace as marketing tool: “It played a large role in the successful opening of (“X-Men: The Last Stand”). On the other hand, we can’t underestimate what “American Idol” did for it, too.”
On potential search partners: “If we were to have a search partner, I think we’d look for someone who gives what AOL gets with Google. They can do a lot of the search and sell a lot of the advertising and get a commission of 10% or 15% of the advertising they sell. We’re not at that stage of decision-making yet.”
On gaming: “We keep looking at the games industry. We know it’s a very big factor in life, but we believe that the available games companies to buy in to are grossly overpriced. We are trying to find another way into it, but we haven’t yet. But I think IGN is certainly a beginning.”
On mobile: “We will be doing more with mobile telephones — everything from short episodes of television shows to news flashes to ringtones — and we will sell them to all the telephone companies that will take them on a shared-revenue basis.”