Danah Boyd notes that NewsCorp’s recent purchase of MySpace gives Murdoch’s empire a unique perspective into the cultural habits of a much sought after demographic.
Unlike the other YASNS, the value of MySpace comes from the data on media trends that is the core of what people share on that service. You have millions of American youth identifying with media and expressing their cultural values on the site.
True, but I had a conversation with an exec in the Big Media space yesterday who saw it a bit differently. What MySpace has that Newscorp wants is inventory, and a lot of it. Newscorp is, after all, an advertising business. Why did Dow Jones buy Marketwatch? NYT and About? Inventory. The secret is out: inventory is valuable again (I’ve called it “traffic of good intent” in the past), as long as it has a high quality audience and a strong community. Now it’s up to these media players not to screw them up.