Michael J. Wolf

MySpace Party Moves On

My comments in Tim Arango’s front page article on MySpace were chosen as the New York Times’ Quotation of the Day.

Yes, MySpace’s popularity and traffic have crashed. What nobody mentions is that the site has already created a huge amount of value for NewsCorp. This is a deal that has already been paid for. In bold strokes, the three-year $900M contextual search deal with Google and the hundreds of millions of dollars in display ads MySpace sold itself, far exceed the $580M deal price for Intermix (MySpace’s parent company.) As importantly, the acquisition served as a catalyst for NewsCorp to take the dive into digital across all of the company’s businesses.

For years, people will talk about why MySpace has declined while Facebook has ascended. To a large extent, the problem is similar to what anyone who creates media faces: the fleeting nature of cultural popularity. MySpace was more than a social network, it was really an outlet for people to connect with eachother around entertainment. Music was at its foundation but so much of what drove its later growth was the first large-scale way for people to share video (by embedding YouTube clips) and then a new way for its users to enjoy their own moments of fame.

As a side note, it’s been interesting to see how many people took notice of the article because it appeared on “A1″ of the Times. Despite the fact that so many of us are getting our newspapers without paper, the front page still carries so much prominence.