Advertisers not fully sold on MySpace

A woman looks at the MySpace website.

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal: When Rupert Murdoch's News Corp reports profits tomorrow, newspaper analysts will look to see how the Wall Street Journal's doing, television analysts will be looking at Fox, but a whole lot of people on Wall Street are going to be looking at MySpace.

Murdoch paid more than half a billion dollars for the social networking site a couple of years ago, but it has yet to really catch on with advertisers and with their money.

Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman explains.


Mitchell Hartman: What advertisers want is to put ads right in front of people who like something -- let's say rock climbing or a specific rock band. That's what the band Coldplay did this summer. It targeted MySpace users who might come to its concerts.

Ad exec Sean Muzzy of NeoAtOgilvy arranged the ads.

Sean Muzzy: There's a tremendous amount of information that allows you to identify audiences within social networks because of the behaviors that the people are exhibiting.

News Corp is pushing this kind of hyper-targeted advertising on MySpace, but so far, advertisers have been cautious. They don't want their ads showing up next to off-color content.

Jeff Jarvis teaches journalism at the City University of New York. He says we're smarter than that.

Jeff Jarvis: We can figure out that if your ad ends up next to a flaming cat video, you're not in favor of setting cats on fire.

But MySpace users may be so busy watching that flaming cat video or talking to their friends about it they won't even see the ads roll by.

I'm Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.

About the author

Mitchell Hartman is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Entrepreneurship Desk and also covers employment.

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