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July 18, 2005
News Corp. buying MySpace: Native Internet Media Taking Off
News Corp.'s acquisition of MySpace is particularly interesting to me. When I wrote about MySpace this spring, it seemed apparent that the company owes its success (more page views than Google) to the fact that it does something new. The social networking site, which allows members to communicate by sharing feature-rich home pages, doesn't really corrrespond to anything in the world of traditional media. Like the podcast or the blog, the social-networking site is a form of what I like to think of as Native Internet Media. Until now, people have often regarded online media as a parasite living on the host-body of TV, radio, print or, for that matter, the phone network. But this $580 million deal shows that online media is more than that. It's about creating something new. This deal is a good start for News Corp., which will have a field day exploiting synergies between its huge media empire and MySpace. And Fox Interactive seems inclined to let MySpace do its thing, without interference from above. "I've been in the Internet space for 12 years, and I've never seen a company grow and catch on at the rate that MySpace has," Fox Interactive president Ross Levinsohn told me in an interview today.
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