In the controversial social-networking world, could critics and advertisers be the massacre of MySpace. Though my experience with youth culture, as both a peer and professional the new objectives of the MySpace business model may be the destruction of the MySpace user experience. Since News Corp. acquired Myspace.com last July for $580 million (MediaPost) one of their priorities, as presumed was to attract the big marketing dollars of Madison Ave.
The tactical ploy by News Corp may come back to taunt them. From the inception of MySpace, it organically grew its name into a bold brand amongst youth culture. Through my personal experience, the MySpace brand wasn’t conceived with the goal to tailor its site to the needs of advertisers, it was consumer centric. First-hand, I’ve witnessed the infamous Tom consistently asking for feed-back on how to improve this platform. Now the great News Corp. is changing this massive brand’s goals by seeking out what potential advertisers want. In the experience economy, the measures needed to keep users coming back isn’t to tell them what is “offensive material” and just deleting profiles (MediaPost). Would you enjoy this experience? It requires at the very least an interactive flow of communication between “MySpace” and it’s users (I have a good idea for this one). Forget if you lose one potential advertiser today, because tomorrow you can still keep gaining your estimated 230,000 users per day (Media Post). If my two cents counted, a user experience is one of the greatest obstacles a brand can achieve. In order to maintain the overall experience one should see what their audience wants since it their “Space”. Now really, if they should continue to convert this massive social epidemic into an advertisers “AdSpace” the question that arrives in my mind, will the marketing-savvy youth culture even responded to these advertisers messages.
Indeed, I do understand certain guidelines people must abide by and do understand the “corporate censorship” brands need to adhere to. However, MySpace was built on a particular business model with a user based agenda. News Corp. may be taken their role as the “Parent” company too far. As we all know the basic reaction of some given us an ultimatum, which is that it can cause rebellious activity and in the case of MySpace’s a significant users decline.
In a recent article published by Media Post, senior vice president of marketing and content for MySpace.com, Shawn Gold said at the OMMA Hollywood Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, “We take a sociological approach to building MySpace, and advertisers need to be cultural anthropologists when they're thinking about their communications strategy on social networks." With no pun intended, how many marketers working for these massive brands are really “cultural anthropologists”.