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Friday, October 06, 2006

Teens as a barometer: MySpace as a case study

Advertising Age reports:
MySpace's growth this past year has been awe-inspiring. But if youth is the best barometer of cultural trends, the News Corp. unit may be in trouble. As MySpace was bound to mature, parent News Corp. has been using it to push everything from movies and TV shows to soft drinks and mobile phones.

In August, the site's share of teens 12 to 17 dropped to 11.9% from 24.7% year over year, while internet users between the ages of 35 and 54 -- not exactly trendsetters -- now account for 40.6% of the MySpace visitor base, an 8.2% increase during the past year.
Teens tend to eschew the older crowd (and vice-versa to some extent). On the other hand, while teens have money they don't have as much as us older folks. It is an interesting tradeoff that a site like MySpace faces. Retaining the youngsters might be valuable in many ways but, especially as the web and social networking matures and (ultimately) Congress gets involved, perhaps there will be unforeseen costs as well.

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