Does MySpace Really Need a Chief Revenue Officer?

MySpace pulled trigger on Owen Van Natta to run MySpace.  

While I don’t know Mr. Van Natta, my quick take reaction and question centers on whether a former Chief Revenue Officer of Facebook is really going to fix what’s ailing MySpace.  IOW, is the revenue problem really the issue that’s highest priority to MySpace?  My take—absolutely not. 

MySpace’s growth has flat-lined, dead in the water relative to Facebook, to say nothing of Twitter.  The site built for teens as the cool hang-out and spot for media now looks bloated, slow and niched. 

So my question is, how’s a business guy really going to fix that?  What ails MySpace, IMHO, is far more product related – it’s an SNS that appeals to a younger demographic, and isn’t tracking to pull in older users in the same way that FBK and TWIT are.  This isn’t a business problem, it’s a product problem.

Scarier still, I’ve read elsewhere the argument that MySpace needs to be the SNS for Music.  Perhaps this is why you bring in a Revenue Officer.  My first take is that this is a dumb idea—take a MySpace, a flat lining SNS and combine it with a dying industry.  Good luck there!  Maybe as an encore Mr. Van Natta could combine AIG and GM.  🙂

It’s not at all obvious what the next steps are for MySpace, and how it might speak to a broader set of users.  Their product doesn’t.  The business strategy of pulling in media like music doesn’t resonate with me at all to a level of scale that’d be needed to make an impact.  Sounds like a mess.  My bet would be on MySpace getting sold in next 2 years at >50% markdown to acquisition price. 

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