MySpace to Solicit Big Three for Search Advertising

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According to Reuters, MySpace.com plans to tap one of the three leading Internet companies to provide its youth-oriented social network with search advertising.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned MySpace plans to solicit bids from Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo, News Corp COO Peter Chernin at a Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom conference broadcast over the Web.

Murdoch has previously said that News Corp. was seeking an investment in the search business. On Tuesday, Chernin told his audience, “Our instincts are we can’t get into the search business in the same way.”

News Corp. purchased MySpace last year for about $580 million. But despite a membership of 85 million strong, MySpace hasn’t fully capitalized on advertising sales opportunities. Although MySpace has transformed into the second most popular site on the Internet by page views as of May (according to comScore Networks), it continues to trail competitors in ad sales due to the types of ads it currently sells.

Reuters reports that about 80 percent of its sales come from so-called remnant sales, or bulk sales of unused advertising space. About 20 percent comes from display ads, which cost about seven to eight-times more.

Chernin assured attendees of the webcast that this ratio will flip over time.

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