Friday, August 21, 2009

Why MySpace will Spank Facebook on Media

A couple of months ago I spoke on a panel at Digital Media East along with the Ali Partovi, the CEO of iLike. We were asked what we would do if we were Owen van Natta, the CEO of MySpace. There was a broad consensus amongst the panelists that MySpace should focus on its music/media core competence.

Ali suggested that MySpace buy Twitter. I suggested that MySpace buy iLike! Which drew a laugh from the audience, but this is definitely the right move for MySpace, and not for the reasons covered in the press.

MySpace Knows What You Like

On MySpace, people have friended musicians and other entertainment properties. Those media profiles in turn reference each other as influences. They essentially have a linked social graph of what people like to listen to and watch, how they have friended each other, and also how those entertainment properties relate to one another as influences.

With iLike This Can Now be Monetized

This is incredibly, incredibly, incredibly valuable! People that like to listen to some random band also for whatever statistical reason are also inclined to like a new TV show or drink Coca Cola. Or whatever. There is a ton of research in this area for ad targeting. And with acquisition of iLike, MySpace can now pump these existing musical preferences through iLike's system and have the most extensive media recommendation engine.

So when an entertainment company wants to launch a new band, TV show, or movie, they can plug into this MySpace recommendation system and be able to easily reach the people that are likely to purchase the new content. With the special bonus that these people can also be reached on their Facebook profiles in addition to MySpace.

And it Will Look Better than Facebook

An individual's Facebook profile is much more accessible and pleasant than a MySpace profile. But for a media property, a live, fun MySpace profile is far more suitable than a Facebook Fan Page with its dull, frozen FBML/FBJS interface.

MySpace all of a sudden is one hot property! Congratulations to Owen van Natta - definitely linked recommendations was going to be the next step at, so he had a key insight on how to leverage MySpace's hidden asset.

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