MySpace Turns to New Design, Ad Push to Revive Fortunes

MySpace (s NWS) is planning a major relaunch summer, co-presidents Jason Hirschorn and Mike Jones said in an onstage interview at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference today. The release will include a “reimagining” of the site’s front end around the concept of discovery as well as a logo redesign, said Hirschorn, and will be backed up with a marketing campaign to “help solidify this is what we’re going to be.”

“This summer more product will be released than ever in the history of MySpace,” Hirschorn said. In the hallway after the interview, Jones told us he considers the launch “risky” because it involves changing so much of MySpace’s core functionality.

MySpace co-presidents Mike Jones and Jason Hirschorn

Areas of focus will include reorienting to enable discovery of content, trending and targeting products, dashboards for musicians and a better understanding of mobile as the remote control of young people’s lives. MySpace gets a third of its daily audience from mobile, said Jones, adding that such info isn’t included in comScore figures — which indicate dropping traffic for the main MySpace portal.

Hirschorn said that MySpace has put so much effort into keeping its site up that it built an “almost bullet-proof” platform, making the introduction of new features and tweaks with any kind of speed “frustrating.”

The MySpace co-presidents, who took over in February when former MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta was dropped by parent company News Corp, both said they’re happy with their respective roles within News Corp and News Corp’s involvement in their business. Hirschorn noted that News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch recently called and woke him up at 8 a.m. on a Saturday morning to say the site’s Twitter sync wasn’t working fast enough.

Hirschorn graded the duo’s progress so far a B+ “given the situation.” Jones said that the site has 120 million global unique users, same as when they started — and contrary to measures claiming that usage has dropped.

While Jones noted that the two have made a commitment to MySpace, Hirschorn also said, “I’m an entrepreneur. Am I going to be at MySpace at five and 10 years? Probably not. We deal in the now.” (Though as Om noted on Twitter, Hirschorn’s recent resume is heavy on big companies rather than startups.)

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