Fox is expected to announce a joint ad-sales deal with MySpace today that will put the Fox network’s sales force on the job selling MySpace’s ad inventory.
The deal will have the Fox TV sales force, responsible for racking up $1.8 billion for the broadcast channel during last year’s upfront, selling joint packages with MySpace.
We’re not exactly sure how that’s supposed to work: Will Fox be selling video ads for MySpace? Display ads? Both? But regardless of the details, the collaboration is a shift in sales strategy for both Fox Entertainment and MySpace, which until now have operated independently. And it’s at least a tacit recognition MySpace needs some help selling the kind of high value packages that are crucial to the site’s success, as it struggles to turn the bulk of its very low-value inventory into slightly more valuable inventory.
As News Corp. (NWS) chief Rupert Murdoch recently explained, Fox Interactive Media/MySpace has proven to be a much harder sell than he and his executives had anticipated. The solution, he explained, is to focus intently on big brand advertisers — the kind of advertisers News Corp.’s TV ad force deals with every day.