Two weeks ago, MySpace’s owner, the News Corporation (Rupert Murdoch), dropped Myspace founder Chris DeWolfe and brought in Owen Van Natta of Facebook fame. This was a move meant to revamp the company and restore its popularity.
You see, Van Natta’s former employer is growing by leaps and bounds, adding new users at a breakneck rate. MySpace, meanwhile, is losing users nearly as fast as Facebook is gaining them. Most of the readers here at Rev2 probably realize why: MySpace has become the hangout for little kids, brainless “adults,” and plugin game freaks. If you currently have a Myspace profile, it’s probably as vacant as the Kmart parking lot.
So what’s the problem with MySpace?
Well, according to Stelter and Arango of the New York Times, it’s slow innovation and a failure to meet Murdoch’s revenue goals. This despite 130 million users globally every month.
Fox Interactive Media, which controls MySpace for News Corp, showed losses accross the board last year, so maybe blaming MySpace for all of it is a little extreme.
It appears to me that the reason MySpace is getting the negative attention here is two-fold: most of us could care less if MySpace goes under and Facebook has surpassed MySpace as King of the Social Network Mountain. The fact that MySpace users are disappearing is obvious to anyone who watches these things.
Trend analysts are also showing that most of MySpace’s users are teenagers under 25 with an annual income under $25,000. For websites seeking ad revenue, that’s almost bottom of the barrel there.
Whatever the plans over at MySpace, Van Natta is keeping mum on them (so far). My guess would be better targeting towards their primary user base: so expect to see MySpace get heavier with ads for bands, music, and gaming gear.
At least they stopped running those crappy weight loss ads.