free html hit counter Yeah, That and the Inventory... - John Battelle's Search Blog

Yeah, That and the Inventory…

By - July 27, 2005

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.

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4 thoughts on “Yeah, That and the Inventory…

  1. Doug Mehus says:

    I’m not an advertising executive nor an expert in the field but even I’ve been saying what these companies are buying: eyeballs and lots and lots of ad inventory. We can prognosticate ad nauseum about the magic of young demographics (and the point does hold quite a bit of water, no doubt about it) but what companies are really after is sites with good, wholesome traffic numbers with which to push their ad inventory.


  2. Peter Caputa says:

    The question I have is: how long before a sales person or an ad sales exec at News Corp will be able to sell ad invetory across mediums. Answer: never.

    I’d bet that they’ll leverage myspace to pitch their other properties. And it’ll be at the expense of innovation in more efficient online ad sales models that they have available to them at intermix.

    They’ll also miss the open web 2.0. The executives in both camps don’t get it. So, as social networking moves to implicit networking around shared objects and experiences from explicit networking, myspace’ll get stale real quick.

    We’ll see. The game is theirs to lose.

  3. I think this deal makes loads more sense for Fox than did the deal to purchase by the NY Times. Maybe the Times got seduced by About’s content generated by its guides; that’s the only explanation I can provide to justify their mistake. Comparatively, MySpace is a gold mine with millions of people generating significantly more content and traffic than About ever has (even when it was back in the day). My guess is big media executives are kicking themselves that they missed out on this coup. Yahoo acquisition of RocketMail many years back set them up to gain a dominant share of free email users; the same thing happened for Microsoft’s with their purchase of Hotmail. The result? Both websites are generating huge amounts of traffic thanks to that stickiness.

    I have a source that tells me MySpace is taking the next step to achieve that same stickiness by offering free email. I posted about it on my blog:

  4. Lauren says:

    My space kicks A$$!