The Jury's Still Out On MySpace's Ability To Monetize

That’s a quote from Michael Nathanson, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, in today’s NY Times.

“On a conference call last month, Peter Chernin, president and chief operating officer for the News Corporation, toned down the grandiose expectations for social networking advertising and acknowledged that selling spots on personal profile and group pages is not easy.

“Social networking represents an ‘entirely new form of Internet activity,’ Mr. Chernin said.

“When MySpace’s parent, Fox Interactive Media, announced a three-year, $900 million advertising pact with Google in 2006, analysts started placing big bets that social networking would be a major new revenue stream. While the Web is becoming more social, it is hard to wring profits from it.

“Indeed, the balloon of unrealistic prospects is losing air. The attitude change was first detected at the end of January when, one year into its $900 million pact with MySpace, Google said that social networking inventory was not earning money as well as expected. (More recently, Google said the situation was improving.)”

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