CHAPTER 15 - CASE ASSIGNMENT: MySpace
Racy Place MySpace Makes Big-Time Advertisers Wary
Suddenly, on the Internet, it’s 1999. But instead of Hotmail, Yahoo, or ICQ, its social networking site MySpace.com that is
attracting Web surfers at a blistering pace. More than 80,000 visitors are registering every
day at a Web site that attracted
its first 60 million registered users in under 30 months
Already laying claim to about half the reach that monster players
Yahoo! and Google enjoy, MySpace typically draws over 20 million unique visitors each month. And, by the time you read
this, all of these statistics will probably have been easily surpassed, given the site’s incomprehensible growth rate.
As Internet success stories go, the MySpace phenomenon is nothing short of spectacular. Rupert Murdoch’s News,
Inc., bought the site from parent company Intermix Media in 2005 for $580 million, but many observers think that was
about one-fourth of what the site could have sold for had the board and the lead investors not rushed into the deal. What
reminds industry observers of 1999 though is that MySpace is such a hot property, yet it has no visible business model
beyond trading eyeballs for ad dollars. So why aren’t mega advertising dollars flooding the doors at corporate
headquarters? A quick tour of MySpace.com would probably answer that question for anyone with a brain and a pulse.
MySpace is an anything-goes, youth-oriented, social hub at the center of music, matchmaking, and social rendezvousing.
Friends keep in touch with each other by posting their profiles, photos, music preferences, social events and more to
personalized Web pages. The pages they create can host automatically loaded music videos or tracks that start to play as
soon as the Web page loads. Pictures are uncensored, as are avatars and messages posted to pages by friends or any
registered visitor who happens to land there.