Feeds

Murdoch sees MySpace miss targets

Something about chickens and roosting

Top three mobile application threats

MySpace has missed its financial targets, showing that social networking is struggling to earn its keep - even as part of Rupert Murdoch's globe-spanning media empire.

News Corp said yesterday that the site will fall short of its annual revenue target of $1bn by 10 per cent. Third quarter revenues actually fell to $210m from $233m in the preceding three months.

News Corp chief operating officer Peter Chernin didn't blame the economy, however. He pointed the finger for missing the "very aggressive targets" at social networking itself.

Chernin told analysts and investors: "It's still difficult to quantify the economic value of a friend in the social networking space."

Searching for positives, he played cheerleader against Facebook, trumpeting MySpace's larger user base, and that its users spend more time on the site. Chernin said: "We're incredibly optimistic about the future of social media and our role in shaping it."

Bald men and combs leap to mind, but the Web 2.0 groupthink has convinced itself that MySpace lags behind Facebook, following the latter's decision to open up to outside developers first.

What News Corp has in MySpace is an endless supply of page impressions. Despite the magical life-affirming properties of social networking, the laws of supply and demand still apply, and so those pages are worth little more to advertisers than the web's bottomless midden of spam blogs. News Corp bought MySpace for $580m in 2005.

The big hope for the site is its "hyper-targeting" system, which sells the interests users list in their profile to advertisers. Many social networking cheerleaders see this type of business as their own AdWords goldmine, while failing to appreciate that a general ongoing interest in "sports" is nowhere near as valuable to marketeers as a Google search on a particular day for "Adidas football boots".

About a third of MySpace revenues come from a guaranteed three year deal with Google, signed in 2006. The search giant has already started complaining that it's not seeing a decent return on its end of the tie-up, however.

Few Murdoch watchers would be surprised if he offloaded MySpace in the not too distant future. Rolling it into a larger web business such as Yahoo! would allow it to function as the page impression farm all social networks look set to become.

Meanwhile, it's been reported that Microsoft is looking at buying Facebook. Again. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all
Enterprise, Windows still power firm's shaky money-maker
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.