Can Social Entertainment “save” MySpace?

New Myspace_Blog

MySpace made a splash this week with a relaunch that focuses on Social Entertainment instead of Social Networking.  So does “Social Entertainment” mean?  Well according to VentureBeat:

Instead of trying to compete with Facebook as a social network…  the new Myspace will focus on sharing and finding music, television, games, moves, and photos.

The Digerati have written off MySpace for years as Facebook membership surged to over 500MM in recent months.  But as SocialTimes points out, MySpace still “averaged 57.5 million U.S. visitors in September 2010.”  While that is a 24 percent drop from its peak of 75.9 million users in December 2008, it still means MySpace is a major web player.  There is no argument the site hasn’t lived up to the opportunity News Corp envisioned when they bought them, but it still ranks as a significant force.  Consider that with those traffic numbers, MySpace is still more than double the web traffic of sites like Twitter.com, Foursquare, CNN.com and MTV.com.

It is that last site that needs to be the most concerned with MySpace’s refocus.  Remember that Viacom tried to buy MySpace back in the day and they have been fighting with them ever since.  With this new embrace of “Social Entertainment”, MySpace is once again going to battle with Viacom but this time they might have the upper hand.  As PaidContent so aptly points out:

Knock MySpace all you’d like for making a last-ditch effort, but at least there’s some logic underlying its repositioning. Embracing entertainment makes sense considering the site’s origins as a home for musicians and comedians to make a name for themselves.   Then there’s also MySpace’s ties to News Corp., which could put it an enviable position to capitalize on relationships with big-time entertainment assets belonging to Fox or 20th Century Fox. If Rupert Murdoch is serious about reviving MySpace, he should be pushing all his divisions to give over exclusive content add-ons from its franchises. It’s still a great marketing platform, and would really help differentiate MySpace as more than just an aggregator of commoditized content.

Last year I experienced first hand the power of MySpace with Social Entertainment when we partnered with them for the People’s Choice Awards.  It was remarkable to watch as their drove over 1 million fans / friends to the People’s Choice Awards, along with tens millions of votes.

MySpace users have a passion for entertainment that is as unique today as it was in 2005 when the site first burst on the scene.  The problem is that News Corp management forgot about that over the past few years as they tried to be everything to everybody.  With the focused move to Social Entertainment, MySpace is going back to their roots as the “MTV of Millenials.”  I will be in their corner cheering them on.

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