News Corp sees MySpace as place for videogames

News Corp hopes to transform MySpace, which has been losing users to Facebook, into a stronger online videogaming platform as it works to reposition the six-year-old site as an entertainment destination.

News Corp digital head Jonathan Miller said on Thursday he wants to expand the videogame platform on his company's sagging social networking site, which lags Facebook in number of users.



At the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference in Pasadena, California, Miller said he saw opportunities to make MySpace's gaming platform better geared to videogame suppliers who then will want to launch their products on the site and employ its user data to better develop games.



"MySpace is and will be more in the future a gaming platform, a space for people to meet and play games," Miller said.



Analysts have been doubtful on MySpace's entertainment drive, given that Google's YouTube dominates the user-generated video content space, while professional video is led by Hulu.



That leaves gaming. A focus on videogames could help MySpace revitalize itself and better compete against Facebook, which recently surpassed 200 million active users and has vaulted ahead of MySpace.



Facebook had more than 307 million unique visitors in April, while MySpace had less than 125 million, according to comScore.



Last month, Facebook surpassed Myspace's peak number of unique monthly users in the United States, 76.3 million, set in October 2008, according to the research house.



MySpace already has a portal where users can play videogames with friends online. Facebook hosts a number of casual games, from Scrabble to chess.

But Miller described videogames as an opportunity for expansion not only for MySpace, but for owner News Corp, which has the Fox network and movie studio and other media companies.



"None of the traditional media conglomerates are also significant video game players, so to speak, and I think that that's the missing piece of the equation, particularly when you see how much time is spent playing games online," Miller said.



News Corp bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million (£352 million) when the social networking website was highly popular, especially among younger Internet users.



But with MySpace losing ground to Facebook and Twitter, News Corp recently ousted MySpace co-founder and CEO Chris DeWolfe and installed its own management team.



In a cost-cutting move, MySpace laid off more than 400 workers, or 30 percent of its staff, in the United States.



At the conference, Miller was asked during an on-stage session to talk about News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch's recent assessment that MySpace should become an "entertainment portal".



"You must focus, and in our case we are focusing on music, games, video, things like that," Miller said.



It was not clear if MySpace would leverage more entertainment content from parent company News Corp and its television and movie divisions.



Miller told Reuters that while MySpace will not become primarily a gaming destination, it will be a crucial theme.



"If you look at the big activities online, games right now is number three," he said. "Communications, search, games. So it's clearly going to be a major focus."



He added that News Corp could possibly make acquisitions to bolster MySpace's video game platform, though he had no specific targets in mind.



Richard Greenfield, an analyst with Pali Research, said in a report MySpace could use gaming to reestablish itself, but that "acquisitions would likely be needed to move the needle".

Suggested Topics
News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'