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article imageMurdoch uses MySpace for hybrid internet TV, interactive vampire movies

By Paul Wallis     Apr 12, 2008 in Internet
If the audience won’t go to the TV, (and why would they?) bring the TV to the audience. Rupert Murdoch and his daughter Elizabeth have begun a new move in the rapid internetization of the media. MySpace TV is cranking up the hits.
Some have long seen as inevitable the modernization of the lame duck of mass media. TV has really become the world’s top turnoff.
MySpace TV has some class acts, too, including National Geographic and its own inhouse hits, Roommates, and Quarterlife.
They also have BBC Worldwide sci-fi, a must for those who know the genre. There are also a lot of Red Dwarf shows, for those of us who have been trying so hard to find the DVDs for al these years.
(In Australia there's a guy who's such a fan he called his whole range of white goods "Smeg".)
If this looks like “Fox meets MySpace”, it’s an understandable suspicion. But let’s face it, there’s a lot more choice and a lot less suit-rabies on MySpace.
The Daily Telegraph (a News Corp newspaper) explains the shift:
"The convergence of the TV business with new social media is creating huge possibilities to reach global audiences," Travis Katz, MySpace managing director international, said at the MIPTV audiovisual trade show here.
Katz spoke shortly after MySpace, the world's most popular social network which owned by Murdoch's News International, announced a deal with Shine Group, headed by his daughter Elizabeth, that will enable its content to be distributed to television and traditional media outside of America and on DVD.
"Sites like MySpace are pushing out the boundaries of what media can do," Katz said, and agreements like the one with Shine "will take us to the next level.
Or, put another way, TV is dead in its old form, and one of the biggest media corporates on Earth has now decided to do something about that. As a form of chronic inefficiency, TV has been easily in the dinosaur category for at least a decade. 40 years ago, a TV guide was an appointment. Now, it’s an anachronistic annoyance, an imposition on time.
The idea is at the very least a concession to those born after 1980.
MySpace has also scored a cult coup of sorts by getting an actual movie out of the legendary British Hammer group, their first since 1976, a MySpace only release. This is where the interactive vampires come in, and users are going to be “woven in”.
Some things about MySpace TV will be familiar to netizens, not least of which is the fact that Roommates has over 12 million hits, but only 79 subscribers.
This is also a kick in the teeth for YouTube, which has volume on its side, but not system. On MySpace you can find what you’re looking for very quickly.
There are going to be local MySpace TVs, too, in the 26 countries where MySpace operates.
Of course, there’s a revenue angle. The advertising is coming along for the ride, too. That’s about all that’s needed to get the next media juggernaut rolling. The advertising is also “woven in”, which figures, given the vampires.
Actually, I really liked the way the Daily Telegraph worded that. It says so little, doesn't mean a damn thing, but gets across the idea that there's advertising available on MySpace TV.
Fiendishly subtle, isn't it?
So if you see a British vampire climbing out of your screen waving a discount offer, don’t be too surprised.
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