Earlier today we noted that two different Web metrics showed MySpace losing ground, and remarked that the News Corp. (NWS) unit, which normally works hard to promote growth statistics, hadn’t squawked in protest. Two hours later came this press release: “MYSPACE MARKET SHARE GROWS IN TYPICALLY INACTIVE PERIOD”.
We’re running the full release at the end of the story, but we’ll sum it up here: The headline isn’t accurate — there’s no data showing MySpace’s market share increasing. But Nielsen does show MySpace’s unique traffic up in December (we believe this means Nov.07/Dec.07). And MySpace remains far ahead of Facebook in uniques and page views; it remains the biggest social networking site in the world.
But our story didn’t doubt that MySpace was a big, popular site. It did worry that MySpace’s growth curve was over, and that the site may be losing ground to competitors. And here’s what the release doesn’t say: The numbers showing a y/y drop in page view growth*, or a drop in our market share, are wrong. And our growth rate is increasing.
The release also doesn’t talk about MySpace’s revenue growth, but it should, because that has increased, and not just because of the $900 million Google deal. During News Corp.’s Q1 earnings call in November, the company said display ads at the site were up 32% y/y. If it can keep that pace up, then investors will be less worried about page views and market share.
* We did talk to a MySpace exec who pointed out a number of changes the site had in the last two months to its design — basically, a series of Facebook-like “feed” features — that made it easier to interact with other users without leaving your homepage. Unspoken but clear message — those changes are good for the site’s usability, but will cut down page views.
MySpace release follows:
**MYSPACE PROGRAMMING NOTE**
MYSPACE MARKET SHARE GROWS IN TYPICALLY INACTIVE PERIOD
December Figures Show Increased Market Share, Greater User Engagement and 95% User Return
New data shows MySpace, the world’s most popular social network, increased traffic by approximately 3 million unique users to 60.2 million in December 2007 (Nielsen Netratings)—typically a slow period for social networks. Hitwise data, also released this week, shows MySpace remains the dominate online social destination, commanding more than 75% of the market share in 2007.
Data from Nielsen Netratings (December 07) shows:
MySpace leads in the “Loyalty Matrix” (time spent per person combined with visits per person). During the month of December the average user spent over two hours and fifteen minutes on MySpace.
MySpace’s closest competitor is behind by nearly 40 million unique visitors, +7 billion minutes spent on the site and +24 billion page views.
MySpace is up 9% in unique visitors compared with December 2006.
Data from Hitwise (published 1/16) shows:
MySpace averaged +76% per cent of all U.S. visits in 2007 to social networks.
95% of MySpace traffic is from returning visitors—the highest of any social network in the +50 Hitwise monitors.
See Also: MySpace’s Growth Curve: Over?
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