Social network MySpace is launching an ad supported mobile version of its site. Free to users, the mobile offering provides advertisers with sponsorship opportunities and the promise of targeted ads based on profile information in the near future.
News Corp division Fox Interactive Media (FIM), which operates MySpace, also plans to offer ad supported mobile access to several other sites oriented towards young adults, including IGN, FOXSports.com, AskMen and RottenTomatoes.com. Beyond the MySpace mobile site itself, it shouldn’t be surprising that FIM is offering advertisers access to the users of this group of sites considering their demographic, said Dan Berger, an FIM spokesperson.
“It’s important from an advertiser’s perspective that the deal is inclusive of a lot of these other sites. When you look at the demographic, IGN and [FOXSports.com] for example, the index is very high for 18-35 males. It’s a very sought after spot for advertisers,” he said.
Advertising for the sites will be handled by mobile advertising network Millennial Media and will primarily consist of banner ads fitted to each mobile device’s screen size. In addition to standard mobile ad placement, Millennial Media is currently cutting deals with several to-be-named sites for exclusive category sponsorships, according to Eric Eller, SVP of products and marketing for Millennial Media.
“There is a limited number of category exclusivity; there are likely to be one automotive, one entertainment, one CPG, etc.,” Eller said. “The sponsorship really is banner advertising but with exclusivity. If you view the MySpace mobile Web site on your cellular phone, you will see the MySpace at the top and a banner position, and then the menu of options that you have with the MySpace site.”
Following an initial beta phase which launched this week, and the upcoming placement of sponsors for the mobile sites, MySpace and Millennial have their sights set on providing advertisers with targeted mobile ad placement based on the profile information gathered on the MySpace site, according to Eller.
“There is also the availability of advanced targeting since there is demographic information from the environment. We’ve got the good opportunity to do the zip codes, and age, etc.,” he said. “Just in line with the additional targeting they announced for the Web site, similar bits of information will be available to the database.”
Although Millennial Media’s Eller is shooting for early next year for providing targeted mobile ads via MySpace, FIM’s Berger was less eager to put a set timeline on the availability of that information for mobile ads, saying the company is still in the midst of adding those features to its Internet site with the integration of technology picked up through its acquisition of Strategic Data Corporation last February.
“We’re looking into it, but there is no timeline on that,” Berger said.
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