Hoping to enhance its status as a destination for compelling viral video, the social networking site is reaching out to programmers.
The head of marketing for MySpace invited solicitations from video
content aggregators, with the aim of enhancing the social networking
site’s standing as a destination for compelling viral video, one of
the fastest growing content genres on the web.
Shawn Gold, in Boston to deliver a keynote address to the CTAM cable
marketing conference, told TVNewsCheck that MySpace actually prefers to
do deals outside of the News Corp. family at this point, to avoid the
appearance of corporate favoritism to its loyal user base. “We try not to lean too heavily on News Corp. product. We want to be more agnostic,” said Gold. “We’re probably more critical of internal
deals than external ones because of the perception issue.”
Gold was in Boston to help cable industry marketers figure out how to
extend their brands on MySpace, the social networking site, acquired last year by News Corp., that has seen its registered user base explode to 100 million people. He talked about the site’s origins as a place for
music fans to connect with each other and discussed recent examples
of how marketers have utilized the site’s content creation tools to
make marketing a more interactive experience.
For instance, Fox’s film group built buzz for the latest “X-Men”
release by allowing users to build their own profiles using “skins”
or colored wallpaper designs built around a variety of mutant
characters. Disney promoted “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s
Chest” with a contest that sent the young winner to the set to
interview the stars.
He also spoke of integrating online with offline efforts, such as a
Beastie Boys My Space sponsored concert series.
In order to reassure parents and appeal more to advertisers, MySpace
is in the process of creating more of a “walled garden” approach to
the content it features. It is categorizing content by separate
interests to help keep users from seeing something that might offend.
This approach is consistent with MySpace’s core mission because it
accentuates the creation of communities, said Gold.
Speaking of communities, MySpace is also reaching out to socially
conscious organizations like Environmental Defense, which is running
its Fight Global Warming initiative in print, on air and online.
“This is right in the sweet spot of what we’re looking for,” said Gold.