While Facebook and Twitter continue to attract new users (and the big headlines), News Corp.'s MySpace has been chugging away in the background: partnering with companies like Yahoo to give users "off-network" access, upgrading features to increase its stickiness, and most importantly, trying to entice advertisers with more options than poor-performing banner ads. Following the launch of its local ad deal with Citysearch, comes another set of potential ad vehicles: new online game show BFF, and, according to a TechCrunch report, a MySpace-branded email service.
MySpace needs as many initiatives like these as possible, since companies like eMarketer are pegging social media budgets to slump across the boardwith growth already slowing down at Fox Interactive Media (NYSE: NWS) in particular.
MySpace hasn't confirmed that it's launching webmail, but TechCrunch uses a leaked internal memo to make the case that soon, any member will be able to have an @Myspace.com address. The premise makes sense. MySpace says it has more than 76 million active monthly users in the U.S., so even getting a third of them to sign up for and regularly use MySpace-branded email means more than 25 million email accounts that it could possibly run text, banner, or other ad units against.
Meanwhile, BFF is your standard web series fare: hosted by Last Comic Standing comic Amy Schumer, each episode features a pair of best friends that answer questions about each other to win prizes; viewers are invited to submit clips of themselves for a chance to be featured in the next episode (which MySpace will fly them to N.Y. to film). Sponsored by birth control-maker Ortho Women's Health & Urology, the show is a clear bid for the 18 to 24-year-old female audience. Release.
By Tameka Kee