MySpace: we don’t need Web 2.0 – By TechCrunch

September 12, 2006 at 9:10 pm 7 comments

By Marshall Kirkpatric of TechCrunch:

 News Corp. chief operating officer Peter Chernin told company investors today that, “If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether it’s Flickr, whether it’s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace.” MultiChannel News is reporting that Chernin said there is no reason why News Corp. couldn’t build parallel businesses, targeting YouTube in particular. “Given that most of their traffic comes from us,” he said, “if we build adequate if not superior competitors, I think we ought to be able to match them if not exceed them.”

What didn’t get discussed in the coverage of Chernin’s talk to the Merrill Lynch Media & Entertainment Conference today is the steps the company has taken that have made it more difficult for outside companies to spread their presence inside MySpace, like blocking external links in Flash widgets. Could more hindrances like that be forthcoming? While competitor Facebook won accolades for opening an API to outside developers, it’s understood that there is probably zero chance of such openness from MySpace.

It’s unclear what more MySpace could do by way of features alone to compete with YouTube. The MySpace video player has embedding, related videos, top videos and viewer comments. Chernin said that MySpace’s video efforts have been small so far and estimated that between 60 and 70% of YouTube’s traffic comes from MySpace. That may become less the case as the YouTube community develops its own stars who use MySpace pages as static points of reference, at most.

Chernin also said that the company was looking to put more of its own commercial video on MySpace. “You’re going to see us starting to play more aggressively on the entertainment side of that site,” he said. Commercial video on YouTube has been a big gamble, with some of it well received and some of it eliciting a very hostile response from users.

To summarize: the COO of News Corp. says that Web 2.0 is leaching traffic off of MySpace, that they can build their own services to compete with any of it and that there’s going to be an increasingly aggresive commercial push on the site. That sounds both dangerously arrogant and like a real validation of fears that MySpace dependency is too risky for outside developers.

Om Malik had a piece in Business Week yesterday titled Suddenly Everything’s Coming Up Widgets, where he said “Everyone’s a winner here: MySpace, because it becomes stickier; YouTube and Slide, because they get the traffic; and the user, because he or she gets it all on one page.” It sounds like MySpace’s owners may not want to play a game where everyone wins.

I hope we hear from others at Newscorp who have something different to say, or that Chernin’s statements are qualified. The innovation that comes from many different organizations swapping data and allowing users to port information from one platform to another is key characteristic of what’s called Web 2.0. Chernin’s statements may make business sense, but they don’t bode well for innovation. If you want to get a hint of how cool cross site widgets can be, check out Typepad’s approach or the new widget marketplace Widgetbox.

I guess no one should be surprised. Perhaps all the outside developers who hate MySpace’s dreadful code will feel a new sense of freedom.


Entry filed under: Blogroll, internet, myspace,, online, online community, social, social media, social networking, social software, software, tech, TechCrunch, technology news, technorati, typepad, web, web 2.0.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. unblock myspace  |  September 13, 2006 at 12:25 am

    >>I guess no one should be surprised. Perhaps all the outside developers who hate MySpace’s dreadful code will feel a new sense of freedom.

    lets see 🙂

  • 2. globeroamer  |  September 13, 2006 at 8:51 pm

    I, sorry for being so blunt, HATE myspace!

  • 3. trucex  |  September 14, 2006 at 11:50 am

    This is exactly what anybody could expect from Rupert Murdoch. Seriously…he just can’t play fair. Instead of being creative or inventive and thinking up new ideas to draw in the dollars, he piggybacks the ideas of everyone else.

    Well congrats on realizing you can copy the ideas of lots of people to make your site better 3 years later. If Myspace developers or management had any clue, they would have implemented these features long ago. Additionally, if Myspace were run by any company that isn’t flying around looking for prey like a vulture, they would promote external integration with the website.

    Bottom line though here: Myspace is clearly on its way out. The traffic hasn’t grown in 6 months, the highly demanded facebook is opening its doors to the masses, and its time for something better to come. Do what you want Murdoch, but you’re an idiot if you think Myspace is invulnerable…people have no loyalty to it. 😉

  • 4. Daijinryuu  |  September 14, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    Too bad in a few years myspace will be so passe. Same thing happened to Xanga and LiveJournal; people still have blogs there and link to one another, but it isn’t as hyped as it was about 3 years ago.

  • 5. eagle  |  September 16, 2006 at 1:47 am

    why is tagasaurous be used on myspace sites? I have had to reformat 3 times now. I am telling all to stay away from this sites

  • 6. ayazmahmood  |  September 19, 2006 at 12:50 am

    It is interesting let’s see what happens…

  • 7. Chris  |  December 1, 2006 at 7:13 am

    Anyone else having bother with myspace or is it just my pc?
    Last couple of days it seems it wont let me download any song from anywhere.
    Anyone having same bother – or anyone how to sort it?


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