Shawn Gold, SVP, MySpace: Marketing in a Networked Culture

Following up on my draft post on ‘Business Models for User-Generated Media‘, I wrote some notes on this morning’s iBreakfast.

Shawn Gold, SVP, MySpace: Marketing in a Networked Culture

MySpace has 100m users projected by july

84m registered users, 2m new registered users per week (size of Houston), 48m unique visitors per month in US

2nd most popular site for content consumption on the Internet, as defined by page views. 29000 indie film profiles. 1.8m music profiles.

#1 video viewing site

#1 referrer to Google—8.19% of Google’s traffic

42% of YouTube viewing is happening on MySpace.

Goal:

MySpace will become THE full service community portal

Introduce innovative advertising solutions while being at forefront of pop culture

DNA of Myspace Generation : MySpace is their place. Where youth culture gathers to express themselves, connect with friends, and discover popular culture.

Big differentiator from competition is the way MySpace is used to discover popular culture, i.e., bands/TV shows.

All the growth is viral—they market to influencers not to audience members.

Nielsen: Myspace reaches 51% of 13-17 year olds online (which is 85% of all 13-17 year olds).

79% of the site is 18+, and 25M users who are 30+.

Why so successful:

-A user’s profile is a metaphor for their room or apt.

– The Internet generation has grown up sharing their lives

– The profile is a characterization of who they are

– They want to express themselves creatively.

Children lack a ‘their space’. 7-11 doesn’t let them hang out in front; the mall security guards kick them out. They’re used to being in public. MySpace is a form of identity production.

Everyone takes pride in their medium. It’s ‘vested media’ because they created it.

When people say the pages are unwieldy, just think of a teenager’s room.

Social networks/blogs serve as a publishing platform for early adopters. Word of Mouth has turned into ‘citizen journalism’, which people trust more than traditional media.

MySpace allows brands to become living, breathing entities that consumers can interact with.

Best brand programs tie into self-expression, facilitate connections between people, or is centered around the discovery of popular culture.

87m stories in the database, and a lot of that content is professional. Every nightclub, every major Christian band, every celebrity brand, is in the database. They’re now slicing the database by professional type, e.g., if you want to reach all the comedians.

Basic idea of marketing: "Tell a Friend"

Average page is visited 30 times a day. If you’re in the top 8, your exposure is exponential. XMen has 3.2m friends. If you friend them, you can have top 16 friends, instead of top 8.

Core: identification and individuality. Don’t separate them—that’s Geocities. Understand core needs (identification and individuality), and address their core needs: recognition, knowledge, self-expression, belonging, access, discovery, appreciation, and confidence.

We facilitate this on a social networking platform.

Next speaker—-Shelly Palmer, author, Television Disrupted

Five buzzwords you can use right now. You will sound like a genius if you use these.

– Mobile video: clipcasts or streamcasts. He dislikes the term ‘cellphone video’, because not all mobile video (e.g., ipod video) is via a cell tower. Why does ESPN Mobile have only 2400 subscribers—because it’s $30-$400/month. It’s a MVNO—they own the handset and customer experience. They’re $30M in the hole. All the vanity cell services will meet the same fate. ESPN invested a lot of money into the technology. Behaviors change glacially. In the last century, fastest time to market for an electronic tool was Xerox machine. It killed carbon paper extremely quickly. Instantly successful. Normally new tools take 5-100 years—fax machine took 100 years.

– IPTV—Internet Protocol Television

– Broadband Video—call it ‘IP Video’. ‘Streaming Video’ is a silly term.

– Podcasting—he hates this word. A use of the RSS spec—it has nothing to do with IPods or broadcasting. Coined by Adam Curry. Based on XML spec. Blogging is the most popular use of RSS.

– Mesh Networks—each node connects or two or more nodes. No central server. Self-healing. Hard to shut down. Napster was a file-sharing network, therefore easy to shut down. If they’re wireless they’re a swarm. BitTorrent is best example of a mesh network. Cant be used in real-time streaming.

Oct. 12, 2005: the date that Steve Jobs and Eiger unilaterally decided to put TV shows on ipod—Desperate HouseWives. Very controversial with affiliates. The day the TV world changed.

"Contact is King!"

Different words for all of you in the audience:

Cable companies call customers ‘subscribers’

Phone companies call them ‘access lines’

TV cos. Call them ‘Viewers’

Computer cos. Call them ‘users’

2/17/2009: all analog TV spectrum will go digital. Your old analog TV won’t work. The good news: all the old analog frequencies will be reclaimed by the gov’t and auctioned off. Most likely it will be used to create a large broadband cloud—WiMAX? No longer will you use a little local wifi network—you’ll use the large broadband cloud. Hermistown, OR has largest broadband cloud in America: 700 sq miles, 5 megabits. It’s like living in Star Trek. Cant handle lots of streaming video/VOIP, but it’s enough for email. Intel is banking heavily on WiMAX.

Every cell phone call ends with ‘hello’, instead of ‘goodbye’, because of connectivity problems

Q&A

Shawn: They review every photo/video uploaded to myspace

Any member can report objectionable content

25000 volunteers police school site

Algorithms that search for underage kids—e.g., mentioning 12 candles on a birthday cake. They kick off 5000 underage kids/day.

Myspace is the size of two Californias—and the crime on the site is equivalent to 5 blocks in NYC