We just got off the phone with MySpace sales boss Jeff Berman, who also sent us this slide. Check it out; selling portal-like ads, MySpace revenues are quickly gaining on portals AOL and MSN.
Jeff says the success is all about MySpace being one of those rare places on the Web that’s kind of a portal and kind of a social network. It can sell ads against everything from U2’s latest single to photos from your backyard BBQ.
What impresses us is that MySpace is making all this money while shaking off a reputation “as a place for friends ” that’s also home to sleazy advertisers. Because they don’t want their brands to share that reputation, Madison Avenue execs tell us they sometimes warn clients against buying MySpace ads.
But suddenly, there’s McDonald’s, Toyota, State Farm and Sony. They’re all on MySpace.
Jeff says MySpace cleaned up its image by creating distinct areas of the site for advertisers to sponsor, but also by poaching top execs from rivals like MTV and eBay. From Yahoo, Jeff says he hired “Wenda Harris Millard’s secret weapon.”
“We’ve made a very conscious effort to hire leaders from best in breed companies.”
(It also helps that unlike Facebook, MySpace is willing to hand over huge tracts of its pages to sponsors.)
Anyway, here’s more charts chronicling MySpace’s rapid march on the traditional portals (note that the numbers come from eMarketer and ComScore, not MySpace):