MySpace plans to generate more revenue from video by strengthening ties to Hulu. Does this mean MySpace Video will offer movie downloads and a subscription service?
Greg SandovalFormer Staff writer
Greg Sandoval covers media and digital entertainment for CNET News. Based in New York, Sandoval is a former reporter for The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times. E-mail Greg, or follow him on Twitter at @sandoCNET.
Rupert Murdoch said in July he wanted to reshape MySpace into an entertainment hub, and sources say the site now plans to launch a new video service sometime in the next several months with the help of sister site Hulu, CNET News has learned.
The big question is whether MySpace's service will offer downloads or a subscription service.
Murdoch, the chairman of media conglomerate News Corp., intends to overhaul MySpace Video by bringing in a larger number of feature films, TV shows, and music videos. The social network's new video area will be given a major face lift, more exposure, and be re-branded so as to make it more attractive to advertisers, according to two sources with knowledge of the plans.
A MySpace spokeswoman declined to comment.
Murdoch's News Corp. owns MySpace and a large chunk of Hulu, which also boasts NBC Universal and Disney as its other stakeholders.
MySpace already streams some of Hulu's TV shows and a tiny number of full-length movies to users. But MySpace Video, as it is now, can't come close to competing with the Web's top video services, such as YouTube, Netflix's Watch Now, or Crackle.
A visit to MySpace Video on Monday evening revealed a section that provided few clues that feature films or prime-time TV shows were even offered there. Besides being buried, the content is displayed on a jumbled Web page. The links to the few long-form films and shows are mixed in with the much more plentiful short clips and trailers. To be frank, the site is a mess.
"MySpace's intention is to do a much better job of monetizing the video area," said one source.
What isn't clear is whether MySpace Video will offer downloads and subscriptions. Last week, Murdoch and and Jeff Zuker, CEO of NBC Universal, said ad-supported Hulu is considering whether to offer pay-per view and a subscription service.
Whether a new MySpace video service would also offer these isn't clear.
But it seems logical to set up a Hulu storefront at MySpace, which would enable the site's users to purchase a movie download or rent a flick without having to hop over to Hulu.