Rupert Murdoch, in an interview at the McGraw-Hill Digital Media Summit in New York on Thursday revealed that Myspace is generating around US$25million in ad revenue per month, and growing fast. It's the no.1 site in the UK, and no.3 here in Australia. They are a close rival in the video market against Youtube and Google, "We're very clearly number two to YouTube. We deliver close to 60 or 70 percent of their traffic," Murdoch said.
All up, things are going swimmingly.
In Australia, though, it has taken a while for the reality to sink in at News Ltd. The Australian division of News Corp is still print-led, unlike elsewhere in the News empire. There was a lot of head-scratching here about this Myspace thing back in late 2005 and early 2006. But when the audience growth numbers started coming through senior management realised it was a huge phenomena, a wave they had to somehow surf.
But Myspace is not like anything else, and within the Australian suite of News products it presents a challenge. How do you manage something like this? How do you take advantage of that huge audience when internally the powerbase still rests with old media? The newspapers are struggling to come to terms with their role online but they still have the biggest budgets and their revenues, while shrinking, are still the core business.
It's hard to escape the conclusion that while the rest of News Corp has moved on, here in Australia the newspaper division is looking increasingly like a museum exhibit.