TEXT OF INTERVIEW
JEREMY HOBSON: The social networking site MySpace says it’s done competing with Facebook. The company, purchased for $580 million by News Corporation five years ago, is re-launching itself today. Now it wants to be an entertainment destination.
Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer is covering this story for us this morning
And she’s with us live. Good morning, Nancy.
NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Good morning.
HOBSON: Nancy, when I saw this story my first thought was, “MySpace is still competing with Facebook?” I thought that competition was over.
GENZER: Well, Jeremy that’s the perception they’re fighting against with this re-launch. They do say they’re not competing with Facebook. And they say the idea is, unlike Facebook, you’re not connecting with long-lost friends. Instead, on the new MySpace, you’ll be able to chat about TV shows and movies, and learn about new bands.
HOBSON: But wasn’t that always sort of the focus of Myspace — more on entertainment and music?
GENZER: Yes. But some people think this is MySpace’s first step into our living rooms. At least that’s what Joseph Turow says. He teaches communications at the University of Pennsylvania. He told me MySpace may be aiming to be a part of the transition from cable TV to our TVs being hooked up to the internet. For example, MySpace could become a place to watch a concert.
JOSEPH TUROW: The concert gets behind a firewall, and you have to pay to get onto the concert and that can be streamed to the big set. It becomes a channel which a lot of it is given out for free, but some of it can be charged almost on a pay for view, video on demand basis.
And, Jeremy this re-launch is crucial for MySpace. Its revenues are way down. EMarketer estimates that advertisers will spend about $347 million on MySpace this year. Last year, they spent $470 million.
HOBSON: Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer, thanks.
GENZER: You’re welcome.
HOBSON: And while we’re in internet-land, a federal judge has put an end to the file sharing website LimeWire. It’ll be permanently shut down because of what the judge called “copyright infringement on a massive scale.”
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