MySpace bets on local content
While Orkut, Facebook, ibibo have already grabbed Indian mindshare, Rupert Murdoch’s MySpace is trying to make up for lost time by bringing a lot of Indian content on the site.
Myspace, a unit of Fox Interactive Media is a social networking forum that has community sites in countries such as US, Brazil, Canada, Austria, Denmark etc. Its India launch follows its launch in Korea earlier this week. It will compete with the likes of Reliance ADAG’s bigadda.com, fropper.com, as well as Facebook and Google owned Orkut.
Myspace boasts of 110 million monthly active users and claims that three lakh new people sign up everyday. It will be striking alliances with Star TV for a program ‘Campus Star’, featured on Channel V and with SaReGaMa through which the ‘Underground’ series of music albums will be launched.
Travis Katz, managing director (international) of Myspace said, “We will be providing the people India the tools they need to live their lives online.”
However, analysts and industry experts are skeptical about social networking paying off for advertisers, while competitors aren’t seeing any big threat from Myspace. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Rajesh Sawhney, president of Reliance Entertainment said, “Myspace entering India has no implications for India. It is a nobody in India.” Sawhney added that Bigadda.com has two million active users and is adding 10000 users everyday.
While most models are advertising driven, fropper.com has a hybrid model wherein 40 per cent of revenues come from subscription while the rest come from advertising. Navin Mittal, business head of Fropper said, “Fropper, which started in 2003 should break even in the next two years.” Mittal said that Myspace’s entry would help the social networking business.
(With inputs from Venkatesh Ganesh)