News Corp is reportedly in talks with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo about striking a search advertising deal for its struggling social network MySpace.
Currently MySpace has a search advertising deal with Google that was reached in 2006 and is worth $900 million over a four-year period. That deal expires next month and News Corp needs to reach some kind of agreement on a new ad deal for MySpace, although any such deal will be for "significantly less money," according to the Wall Street Journal.
MySpace has steadily lost traffic over the last few years as Facebook continues to see explosive growth. In May, MySpace attracted 109 million users globally, down nearly 13 percent from the same month last year, according to comScore.
News Corp executives think that privacy and other issues about Facebook give it an opportunity for MySpace to attract new users and advertisers. They concede MySpace will never be as big as Facebook.
Part of MySpace’s strategy is to focus on entertainment related content such as music and videos. "MySpace says it is focused on Web surfers younger than 35, and is offering them a place to find new music, videos, games and other diversions, and to locate new people with similar interests," the Journal reported.
"MySpace’s new strategy in addition includes ways for musicians, comedians, authors and fashion designers to gather an audience and tools to measure who and where their fans are."
"A band, for instance, could use MySpace to share music with fans and get feedback, as well as adjust their touring schedule to add concerts in Texas, for example, if the musicians see their MySpace fan base is heavily from that state."
MySpace also wants to attract users by offering better privacy features than Facebook. "MySpace has also touted its initiatives to allow users to easily keep secret their personal information such as photos, birth date and hobbies, a counter to recent privacy worries about Facebook," the Journal said.
While Facebook has 548 million users worldwide according to comScore, MySpace executives are focused on increasing the percentage of U.S. users who are 13- to 34-years old who visit the site each month to 75 percent from 50 percent.