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I Want My...MySpace?

MySpace is bigger and some might say more mature than Facebook, the current rising star of social networking. At the moment, it's certainly more profitable: This year the News Corp. company is set to rake in $200 to $300 million before interest and taxes on revenue of $800 million. However, MySpace's user growth is slowing, which means that stickiness, or average time spent per user, has become the key growth metric for the social network moving forward. As it ages, MySpace is starting to look more like MTV and less like a traditional social network.

Content is clearly the strategy. Consider: "Roomates", a three-minute reality series a la MTV's "The Hills," original dramas like "Quarterlife," a new MySpace unit devoted to creating original content, "secret" concerts on MySpace Music, and MySpace News. These innovations are aimed toward keeping users at the social network for as long as possible.

It's a decidedly old media strategy, but will it work? Some say that original content is a good way to attract advertisers. "Brands like P&G do not want to advertise on Web pages that have 14-year-old girls kissing each other," an ad agency exec says, referring to MySpace user profiles. On the other hand, Yahoo and others have gone down this path before and failed, miserably. What's different this time?



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