So, the MySpace is adding a news component to its slate o’features. Given that the parent company of MySpace is News Corporation, this isn’t so much of a surprise as it is a question of what took so long. I know it’s not because the company’s shy about self-promotion.
Online speculation has it that Newsroo, a company recently acquired by News Corp will be serving up the headlines to the movers and shakers of the MySpace community (this speculation is fueled by the fact that Newsroo’s home page now redirects to the MySpace homepage). According to one site, deals are being struck all over the news universe. This site also curiously refers to MySpace as a pureplay online company; that shipped more or less sailed when the site was acquired by a major media giant. Slowly but surely the influence of the Murdoch empire has crept into the site, and we recently received samplers from the MySpace music label. Now that they’ve lived with MySpace for a while, the folks at News Corp. are desperately seeking ways to squeeze every nickel and dime out of it
Posted by Jim Connelly in Apple, Copyright, DRM, Focusing on the Wrong Problem, iTunes, Microsoft, Music, Piracy, Social Media, YouTube, Zune on Nov 20, 2006
Unversal Music, the mega-major record label that thinks so little of its fans that their CEO, Doug Morris, recently said that iPods were: “just repositories for stolen music,” has evidentally hit upon a new business model: lawsuits and extortion.
Apparently making money by putting good music out there with a price point that might entice people just isn’t good enough. Because, of course, we are all thieves. So instead of that, they’ve decided to go a different route. Instead of using their artists to make money, they’ve decided to fall back upon the lawyers. Hopefully, the lawyers will get a better royalty rate.
Let’s review, shall we?
As you might have heard, Google went and acquired YouTube for a mere $1.65 billion. Time will tell if this was a brilliant business move or not. I believe Google’s acquisition is far more savvy than News Corps’ purchase of MySpace. MySpace is a mess and by the time anyone figures out how to make lots of money from the venture, the kids who give the site its buzz will be on to the next big thing.
But YouTube? There’s a different animal. Whether it’s $1.65 billion is debatable, but YouTube’s model — easily syndicated and shared content — gives the site a broader appeal. You don’t have to go to YouTube; it can come to you. Every time a little player is embedded in a website, YouTube’s brand is extended into the public consciousness. Google, being Google, will not be long in figuring out how to turn this into money. Simplest way is to leverage the sites who use AdSense and embed video.
It was only a few weeks ago that MySpace was claiming to have passed Yahoo as the most popular site on the internet. Now it’s being reported that YouTube has passed MySpace. MySpace’s reign at the top lasted about three weeks. I’m guessing that’s not what Rupert Murdoch paid over $580 million for.
Has MySpace peaked? Probably yes. There have been plenty of reports indicating that MySpace’s target demographic no longer finds the site to be cool. Part of the problem is that dozens of new social networking sites seem to pop up every week. MySpace has lots of competition and no longer seems cutting edge to a generation of kids who live online and spend a good deal of their time looking for the next great thing. You only have to look back to the rise and fall of Friendster to realize just how bad things might get for MySpace.
I am in a bit of a mood today, and reading that “experts” don’t think MySpace is doing enough to protect kids from online predators really pushed one of my buttons. Does Target do enough to protect kids from predators? Does Disneyland? Does your local grocery store?
You know who should be doing more to protect kids from online predators? Their parents. Depending on technology to keep your kids safe can only go so far. MySpace is attempting to institute age restrictions, but let’s be honest, there is no truer statement that this: