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Can It Get Worse for MySpace? Apparently Yes



It seems like the only news that is ever heard these days around MySpace is bad news and today isn’t any different. Advertisers are moving away from the site because declines in visitors continue to grow. All in all it’s not a pretty picture as the Wall Street Journal reports

In February, Myspace registered its sharpest audience declines since the site began its downward spiral in 2009. Traffic to Myspace last month plunged 44% from a year earlier to 37.7 million unique U.S. visitors, its lowest monthly total since February 2006, according to comScore Inc.

Meanwhile, people who visited the site spent on average 59% less time in February than they did a year earlier, comScore data show.

If you are more of a picture person this one will tell the story pretty well.

To read the WSJ article you have to feel that even though the site is #26 in the US in terms of traffic it is rapidly heading in the wrong direction with advertisers. Trouble in the executive ranks and a less than well received redesign of the site have contributed to this image of trouble for the advertising community. Add to that the fact that site owner News Corp. is trying to sell the property and it’s a recipe for trouble. A quick sample of advertiser quotes from the article tells the story.

“Nobody is going to commit to an upfront because they wouldn’t know who they are going to be writing checks out to in six months,” says Ian Schafer, chief executive of Deep Focus, a New York-based digital ad agency owned by Engine USA, which creates campaigns for clients including Microsoft Corp., Nike Inc. and Hearst Corp. Mr. Schafer says his clients haven’t run an ad campaign with Myspace for several months.

This one might sting the most

“Their fall from relevance has been so significant, that advertising on Myspace just doesn’t make sense to us,” says Chuck Sullivan, senior vice president of global online services for hotelier Hilton Worldwide. Mr. Sullivan says that Hilton hasn’t bought any ad campaigns with Myspace for more than two years.

What should be taken from this fall from grace that MySpace has experienced is that no one is safe. High flyers are susceptible to this kind of fate in just the same way that smaller players are. The rapid change in the Internet space should make everyone from Google, Facebook and Groupon on down the line be aware of what can happen if you take your eye off the ball even for a minute.

Personally, I can’t imagine MySpace aver getting back to where it was but there is still hope for it to have its niche with the teen, music and gaming crowd which isn’t anything to sneeze at. In the end the big loser will be News Corp. who spent all that money what seems oh so long ago to buy what turned out to be last year’s model of a social network.

Do you still use MySpace? If so, how do you use it? Do you advertise there? We would love to hear from those who are still getting value from the site. What about the other side of the coin? Have you given up on MySpace?