Thursday, November 5, 2009

News Corp. has the right idea for MySpace: Focus on its strength as an entertainment portal


News Corp.’s digital chief Jonathan Miller said Thursday that his company’s social-networking property MySpace is differentiating itself from rival Facebook by focusing on its appeal as an entertainment portal.
Speaking at a conference in New York City, Miller said Facebook “is about what people are up to” and MySpace “is about what people are into,” according to a post on WSJ.com.
Kudos to Miller for clearly articulating a sensible strategy for MySpace.
Facebook has a big lead in the traditional social networking space, where friends link up and share status updates and photos. Instead of chasing after Facebook in that area, MySpace wants to connect people with their favorite bands and artists.
Miller’s remarks met with some skepticism in the audience at the ad:tech conference. But I think he’s spot on.
The world doesn’t need a distant No. 2 in traditional social networking. Facebook has already won that race. No sense in wasting resources on being a me-too service. MySpace is zigging while Facebook zags.
I use MySpace solely as an entertainment portal to keep track of what my favorite artists are doing. I’m “friends” with Kylie Minogue, Johnette Napolitano, Arcade Fire, Keane, Garbage and a bunch more musicians and groups.
They post music, photos, tour updates and comments and I feel like an insider.
Because of this relationship, I’m more likely to buy concert tickets, recordings and other merchandise. This is an area from which MySpace can profit.
I think MySpace’s entertainment strategy is a smart one.

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