Charting MySpace From Hot To Not

MySpace has done what few can claim to have accomplished so far this new year: cut its weight nearly in half by slashing close to 500 jobs f…

Owen Van Natta Out as MySpace CEO

Owen Van Natta, the former Facebook executive who was picked to revive MySpace last April, is stepping down, News Corp just announced. He’ll be replaced by two of his hires, Mike Jones and Jason Hirschhorn, who now each share the title of co-president.

Confirmed: MySpace to Acquire iLike

MySpace logoMySpace (s nws) CEO Owen Van Natta has confirmed that the social network will acquire popular music discovery application iLike, marking the beleaguered company’s first big move towards reverting back to its roots as a niche site for music and entertainment.
On his first conference call as CEO of MySpace, Van Natta said iLike will remain separate from the company’s MySpace Music venture and that it hopes to extend iLike’s technology past music into other entertainment categories, such as gaming. iLike’s recommendation engine for new music was a feature that “could apply to a number of different of areas across MySpace,” he said. Read More about Confirmed: MySpace to Acquire iLike

MySpace U.S. Ad Sales Expected to Fall While Facebook’s Rise

MySpace logo The folks over at MySpace (s nws) sure have a lot on their plate, and the pressure is mounting. It’s no secret that the News Corp.-owned social network is playing catch-up with Facebook‘s rising traffic, and the expiration date on its advertising deal with Google (s goog) is looming. Now, in addition, U.S. advertising spending on MySpace is expected to fall 15 percent in 2009 to $495 million, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a study from research firm eMarketer.

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta, and the rest of the MySpace team better start making headway with their turnaround strategy for the social network — and fast, or falling behind in traffic won’t be its only Facebook-related worry. U.S. ad spending on Facebook is expected to rise 9 percent to $230 million in 2009, and the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company is on track to exceed MySpace in advertising dollars by 2011, according to the Journal. Though Van Natta has been shaking things up at MySpace with a series of layoffs in the U.S. and abroad, it’s going to take more than downsizing to help the floundering social network regain the status it once held — if it can at all. Read More about MySpace U.S. Ad Sales Expected to Fall While Facebook’s Rise

MySpace Cutting Majority of Its International Staff

myspace-logo MySpace (s nws) said today it’s cutting two-thirds of its non-U.S. workforce, bringing the total number of international employees to 150. The move comes a week after the social networking site said it would slash 30 percent of its U.S. workforce. MySpace said today that it will “restructure its international operations and refocus personnel around a smaller number of territories.”

London, Berlin and Sydney have been designated as the international hubs; offices including those in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France and India are under review. MySpace China (which is locally owned, operated and managed) and MySpace’s joint venture in Japan will not be affected.

MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta said in a statement:

“As we conducted our review of the company, it was clear that internationally, just as in the U.S., MySpace’s staffing had become too big and cumbersome to be sustainable in current market conditions.”

MySpace is struggling to regain its lead over rival Facebook; comScore released data last week that showed the number of unique U.S. visitors on Facebook eclipsed MySpace for the first time ever in May. Facebook has also been growing rapidly overseas.