MySpace Now A Porn Fav: 1
In July, Fox Interactive Media (FIM), a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., agreed to acquire Intermix Media Inc., which owns more than 30 e-commerce and media websites, for $580 million in cash, extending News Corp.'s online reach to an additional 30 million unique monthly users.
And the jewel in the Intermix Media crown, the reason for that hefty price tag? MySpace.com, a social networking site that has more page views per month than Google and eBay and whose audience consists largely of sex-obsessed 14- to 32-year-olds — the perfect target demographic for Murdoch's controversial form of mixed media. And did we mention that MySpace is filled to its electronic rafters with porn stars?
"MySpace has been exploding with porn stars," 29-year-old Monstar tells XBiz. "It's a great tool for many performers who just want to have a place on the net where they can be easily found by friends and fans. The best part is they can literally build a page and be up and running in minutes."
Monstar is the group leader of Monstar's Porn Star Group on MySpace. He built the page in February and currently hosts 3,409 members and links to more than 300 erotic performers with MySpace pages.
Monstar's Porn Star Group was created in response to the plethora of "porn star fakes" that were running rampant on MySpace, he says. The group has evolved into something of a protective union with Monstar in the role of a kindly, putative Jimmy Hoffa type. If Monstar links to a porn star's MySpace page, then users can be assured that it's the real deal and not a poser.
Scrolling through a list of porn stars with MySpace pages is like a reading a contemporary who's who of adult entertainment. Jenna Jameson has a page, so does Stormy Daniels, Kylie Ireland, Jenna Haze, Tiffany Mynx, Tera Patrick, Alexis Amore, Tawny Roberts, Ashton Moore and Playboy model and Playboy TV personality Jelena Jensen.
Brick and mortar adult companies represented on MySpace include Shane's World, Red Light District, Madness Pictures, Smash Pictures and Kick Ass Pictures. Modeling agencies also abound on MySpace, including Spiegler Girls, Bad Ass Models, Exotic Stars Models, LA Direct Models, and Red Rose Talent. Even Jim South Jr., of the famed World Modeling, has a slot on MySpace.
MySpace also hosts 110 online groups devoted to porn stars. The most active is Adult Film Stars and Models with 5,198 members. The Porn Star Karaoke Club boasts 1,391 active members. There are 10 groups with derivations of the title Future Porn Stars of America and a handful of I Want to Be a Porn Star groups. Some groups are private and membership is open to a vetting process that includes some form of age verification, but most are public, meaning anyone can join. And therein lies the first of many thorns on Murdoch's new rose: MySpace is open to anyone 14 years of age or older.
Murdoch Takes Stock
"Our underlying philosophy," the Chairman and CEO of News Corp. once explained, "is that all media are one."
Rupert Murdoch built his media empire while studying the footprints left behind by another communications and propaganda giant, William Randolph Hearst. Born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1931, Murdoch inherited a daily newspaper from his father, as did Hearst. After establishing a mammoth newspaper and magazine territory overseas, Murdoch set his eyes on the American market in 1976 with the purchase of The New York Post. He then acquired the New York Magazine Co., whose titles include The Village Voice and New York Magazine.
Murdoch created the Fox News Channel in 1996 as an antidote or "conservative counterpart" to Ted Turner's Cable News Network. FNC hobbled along until the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001. In the dust heap of the demolished World Trade Center, Fox News shrewdly transformed itself into a bully pulpit for conservative war mongers with an abundance of personal opinion and lecturing for an audience presumably too scared to think for themselves.
Not unlike Hearst — who once told a reporter "You provide the pictures, I'll provide the war" — Murdoch's taste in journalism runs toward the lurid, including political scandals, sex and crime. At FNC, the search for a missing child is reported with the same urgency as the collapse of Western Civilization.
As of June 30, Murdoch's News Corp. had total assets of $55 billion and total annual revenue of approximately $24 billion. News Corp. is a diversified international media and entertainment company with operations in no fewer than eight industry segments: motion pictures and television, cable network programming, direct broadcast satellite television, magazines and inserts, newspapers, book publishing and more. News Corp.'s tentacles extend around the globe with operations in the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Continental Europe, Asia and the Pacific Basin.
In July, shortly before the acquisition of Intermix Media and MySpace, News Corp. announced the formation of Fox Interactive Media (FIM), a new unit "that will leverage the strength of Fox's distinctive entertainment, news and sports brands across the Internet to offer a richer online experience to its millions of users." The online assets include FoxNews.com, FoxSports.com and Fox.com.
In part two we'll continue our look at web portal MySpace.com