The latest push by MySpace to bring in more advertising dollars relies on some unusual ingredients.


MyAds is the online social networks launch into do-it-yourself ad service for small businesses, which will enable anyone to create customised banner advertisements using MySpaces HyperTargeting technology. HyperTargeting
allows advertisers to tailor their ads to users based on their
interests and other demographic details noted on their MySpace profiles.

You take the rich information on a user profile, and take those users
and put them into enthusiast buckets, MySpace Chief Executive Chris DeWolfe told Reuters in an interview. Ideally, MySpace
users would be more likely to respond to ads — or at least not find
them annoying and intrusive — because they reflect the users

The service will go live in a public test, or beta version on Monday, after about 3,400 customers tested it during the past three months. The service is designed for advertisers who want to get their ads in front of MySpaces 76 million U.S. users, but do not have the budget to pursue traditional campaigns.

If Im a small business, I cant afford to hire an ad agency to do my creative. I cant afford to hire a graphic designer. I cant afford to hire a media buyer, DeWolfe said.

DeWolfe declined to say how much revenue MySpace wants to get from the program, but said that it will be a significant contribution to the overall revenue stream.

The amount of money that small business spends on advertising is billions of dollars, DeWolfe said, adding that there is a pool of 20 million potential advertisers who could take advantage of MyAds.

Until now, businesses that wanted to advertise on MySpace would go through sales representatives, but that was something more geared toward companies with budgets that individuals and smaller operators could not afford. The minimum MyAds charge is US$25 – and goes up to US$10,000.

When its founders used MyAds to spruik the offering, overnight traffic went up 200 percent, commented Arnie Gullov-Singh, an executive at Fox Interactive Media, the News Corp unit that houses MySpace. LiTal, a singer, used the service to boost her friends count from zero to 25,000 in three months, he said.

Companies that depend on online advertising – ranging from Facebook to Google and Yahoo – hope it will deliver profits even as big advertisers are cutting back on spending, something that is already reverberating in big media companies such as Viacom and CBS.