MySpace Recruits Veteran Video Ad Sales Exec

MySpace named Internet video veteran Tom Bosco VP and head of sales for MySpaceTV. In this newly-created position, he will oversee sales of video advertising across all of MySpace.

Bosco was a key player in the high-profile launches of both MSN Video and AOL Video. He co-chaired the IAB broadband committee for two years, and helped form the industry-accepted broadband video ad standards. Most recently, Bosco briefly held the position director of sales at ScanScout.

“Tom has been on the frontlines of online video advertising for two of the major players in the space,” said a spokesperson from Fox Interactive Media, MySpace’s corporate parent. “He has a clear sense of the challenges and opportunities of the medium from a brand advertising perspective and will be able to help drive revenue for the site. Video is a top priority for the company and monetization is key to maturing the business online.”

MySpaceTV launched earlier this summer and quickly became the second most visited video site on the Web. The vids.myspace.com domain attracted 17.9 million visits in July, according to data from Nielsen//NetRatings, compared with YouTube’s 55.1 million.

Current monetization on the Fox-owned property includes custom advertising, standard media buys and sponsorships. “Custom profiles have provided brands with a great way to reach consumers in a two-way conversation that they’ve never had before,” said the FIM spokesperson.

The nature of MySpace’s social networking profiles, and user-generated videos has been a challenge to monetize. The sheer volume of random videos has been difficult to sell to advertisers, said Emily Riley, analyst at JupiterResearch. “Before they start offering premium placements, they’ll need to determine how to categorize video, increasing the importance of different video channels.”

Videos on MySpace TV include both produced content and user-generated videos. MySpace recently made deals with content partners including the Onion, LonelyGirl15, Sony Minisode Network, NBA, NHL, The Producers Guild, National Geographic, the New York Times and Reuters.

“You can see a sponsorship deal happening around a particular miniseries they host, which can be a way of creating a lot more premium ad space,” Re ily said.