Five years ago MySpace ruled the social media world. It was considered the darling of Internet startups and eventually was purchased by News Corp. for nearly $600 million. But like many fast growing companies, MySpace tried to be everything to too many people. Trying to appeal to many, diverse market segments with what amounts to being the same product is often difficult unless the product is a true commodity (e.g., milk) that nearly everyone wants. Unfortunately for MySpace, customers in the social media market were not looking for the same product; they wanted a product that was customizable to their own styles. MySpace’s limited offerings opened the door for other social network sites especially Facebook, which by 2007 surpassed MySpace in web traffic and today is far ahead.
As this story discusses, MySpace is now being forced to reposition itself. It is altering its marketing strategy and taking a more targeted approach. By narrowing their focus the company hopes to appeal to the under 35-year-old market, with even more emphasis on the under 25-year-old crowd. The changes in marketing strategy include a new website design, online gaming, new content and renewed emphasis on music and movies.
More than half of MySpace’s estimated 100 million users are 25 and younger, according to market researcher ComScore. The 13-to-34-year-old demographic spends 84% of all user time on the service. MySpace intends to appeal to that demographic with a mantra of “Discover and be discovered,” a fancy way of saying it wants to be the online venue to find new friends, movie trailers, little-known bands and social games.
In addition to the changes noted in this story, what else will MySpace need to do to once again gain traction in the social network space?
Image by MySpace