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MySpace, Marketing Machine

  • Wired , Wednesday, June 28, 2006 11:30 AM
You'd think Rupert Murdoch is MySpace's Chief Publicity Officer, granting one lengthy sit-down interview after the next, piping on and on about MySpace, a company that doesn't even represent 1 percent of News Corporation's massive media fortune, and the tremendous value of social networks. Not only that, but given what he says during these lengthy sit-down interviews--that technology is shifting power away from editors, publishers, the establishment, the media elite, etc.--you wouldn't think he's talking about businesses he actually owns and people he actually employs. And he's all-smiles while prognosticating the downfall of traditional media, on which 99 percent of his fortune is built. "To find something comparable" to the Internet, he says, "you have to go back 500 years to the printing press, the birth of mass media--which, incidentally, is what really destroyed the old world of kings and aristocracies." Sounds like mass media is over, right? Even so, Murdoch proclaims, "The Internet is media's golden age." Great. So what about MySpace? What about the criticism that MySpace "is a flabby giant boxing well beneath its weight?" It's a massive site filled with marketing-averse content, so what can you do with it? Well, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, says Ross Levinsohn, head of Fox Interactive Entertainment. "You'll see us morphing from a content company into a marketing company--a youth marketing company especially," he says, because MySpace will give News Corp. the ability to monitor youth trends like no other
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