Blog Post

@ Live: Rafat Ali Interviews MySpace Mobile’s John Faith

imageOur own Rafat Ali, publisher and editor of ContentNext Media, took the main stage this morning at Mobile Entertainment Live to interview John Faith, the GM and VP of MySpace Mobile. Here’s highlights:

Types of mobile products: There’s Wap, downloadable apps and SMS: “You need all of it together to create an ecosystem, so that consumers can use it where they want and when they want it…SMS is a notification system, and we’ll update it later to do more things, but right now it drives traffic back to the Wap site….This winter we launched a development platform online. we also launched our data availability initiative, which allows you to get info about public profiles on MySpace. You are seeing a proliferation of applications, which are popping up on iPhone and probably soon on Android.”

The iPhone as a catalyst: “We created an iPhone application when the app store launched in July. As of recently, we had 1 million downloads and the application itself is setting a new standard for what you can do with applications on a device. You also have a distribution model, which is not completely open, but it allows you to discover and consume new applications on a mobile device. With the iPhone app usage, about 25 percent use it on a daily basis.”

Much more after the jump

Handsets that are working well: “Right now, we are hitting about 2 million daily uniques. I believe we are ranked high in the social networking category. When we built our mobile Website, we did it for a ubiquity play, but what we are seeing is that the highest usage is coming from smartphones with Qwerty’s. So, I think as MySpace mobile develops, we’ll look into targeting different browsers, across carriers and manufacturers.”

Business Models: Are you seeing more sponsorships, rather than display advertising?. “Yes, we are seeing much more interest through a more robust integrated package [across online and mobile].”

International: We just recently updated the Web site in Europe, both off-deck and on-deck. The one thing we haven’t done is promote the site, it’s all been through viral. But going forward we’ll integrate mobile back into Web site, so you know there is a mobile product when you are on the Web.”

Competition from startups using location: “Certainly MySpace has an advantage there because it has a big user base. We have the ability to extend it to mobile, but then create a unique compelling experience on mobile. You’ll also see in the near future, MySpace is focusing on core communication components, but also making a move into the mobile social portal with all of our user-generated content. Location based services is something we are considering heavily. Safety and consideration is key to our users. With mobile, the idea of a buddy finder, or knowing where your friends are at. You have to have granular control so one friend can see where I am, whereas a person I met yesterday could see it on a city-level.”

MySpace Music: “It’s launching in the next few weeks. It’s a free ad-supported streaming service, which let’s everyone become their own DJ. In the music space, we want to provide one on mobile, too, and we are aggressively looking into it….You still have a tight control on the distribution and revenue around that. We’ll be working with them to make a compelling MySpace mobile component in the future.”