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Murdoch: MySpace The Next Big Portal

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Take the News Corp publisher’s vast fortune, add it to the very popular social networking site MySpace, and suddenly Rupert Murdoch is playing Fox to the major portal sites like MSN, Yahoo, and AOL.

Broadband availability and traditional advertising revenue downturns have inspired Murdoch and News Corp to ride this Internet horse as far as it will take them. They hope that Internet riches wait at the end of the trail.

The Wall Street Journal reported instant messaging improvements, video downloads, and even VoIP figure in the News Corp vision of the future online.

“The portal model is in danger of becoming out of date,” Murdoch said in the story. “Young people know exactly what sites they want to go to, and they go there. They don’t have to work their way through Yahoo or MSN’s home page.” Both MSN and Yahoo scoffed at that suggestion in response.

Even though Yahoo has many more members than MySpace, a threat is a threat, and Yahoo’s recent acquisitions have connections to social networking, with their purchase of playlist community Webjay being the latest.

Has The Fear hit Sunnyvale, despite its huge overall membership lead? Yahoo said in the article more 12 to 24 year-olds hit Yahoo than any other site. But leaders do need to check the rear-view mirror from time to time.

Though Murdoch took a shot at MSN, it’s AOL that has made great strides in presenting music online. Music comprises a large part of MySpace’s appeal, with bands like Nine Inch Nails debuting recordings on the site.

AOL was widely lauded for its Live 8 concert coverage in July 2005 while a similar effort from MTV was notable only for the criticism it received. That’s the kind of potent content MySpace has to deliver if it hopes to gain on Yahoo and others in the portal space.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Murdoch: MySpace The Next Big Portal
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