opinion

Business Is Business

Joe D
You know I’ve been thinking about this all week…the idea that business is business and how you can never sit back, relax and enjoy your current market position. Someone is always following your footsteps, right in your shadow – not usually with a unique and novel idea, but with improvements and refinements on your own!

Even within this small industry as consolidations continue, we see the roles play out in the current competitions over tradeshow dollars and print and resource media dollars – forums, linklists, TGPs, review sites, tubesites, dating, cams and programs reinventing and adapting while putting the best possible spin on all the activity to create that perception of growth and success…everyone jockeying to provide the best product and service – on every level it comes down to innovate, evolve, survive, conquer. Sometimes retraction is wiser than expansion – every model is unique…what does your model dictate?

We see today that facebook has overtaken myspace and I can’t help thinking that AOL should own the world…What happened there? With such a head start and the most aggressive marketing campaigns the world has ever seen – AOL should today encompass all of these social networking programs. No vision? Lost in corporate bureaucracy? Smothered innovation? What happened?

comScore.com has reported that facebook overtook myspace in the US in May, becoming the new King of the social networking world – just barely mind you, but it’s still significant news, especially with advertisers. According to comScore, Facebook totaled 70,278,000 unique visitors, up 97% from May 2008 to May 2009. MySpace hits shrank 5% over the same timeframe, dropping to 70,255,000 unique visitors. We heard yesterday on cable news that the myspace first public response has been to lay off several hundred employees. That ought to fix the decline. Yep, that’s the ticket. I hope they started at the top but they rarely do...

MySpace still dominates Facebook in one important respect—advertising, but that won’t last long. There’s some lag time here while everyone digests the news. Everyone wants to work with the leader, so the shift is inevitable. MySpace visitors viewed 31.8 million ads in April 2009, accounting for almost 47% of the total social network advertising space. Facebook was second, serving nearly 25 million ads and making up about 37% of the sector. Now the demographics geeks will be all over the stats analyzing away – who is shifting to facebook? In the all important social networking Web we have to know WHO is frequenting facebook over myspace and why. Call it the demographics of influence…I expect this revenue gap is going to close very fast.

An entry on emarketer.com included the following claim: MySpace entered into an advertising agreement with Google in 2006 that would pay the social network roughly $300 million a year, ending in June 2010. But TechCrunch.com reported that a new deal between Google and MySpace would be worth only $50 million to $75 million yearly, punching a big hole in the social network’s revenues. Who better than Google to predict future traffic trends…

The contrast evident in the comScore chart below from this time one year ago is incredible. Last May 2008, MySpace was more than twice as large as Facebook, and Twitter was hardly on the radar. This past May sees Facebook as the new leader, MySpace is in a slight decline [some might say trend], and the Twitter expansion has been nearly 2700%.

Social Networking: May 2009 vs. May 2008
social networking ranking
Source: comScore Media Metrix

What really happened at AOL? And what is going to happen within the online adult entertainment industry? As we approach the mid-point of 2009 what are your predictions for the 2010 landscape? What will the tradeshow lineup look like? What will the publications look like? What role will message forums and resource sites play in the future? How will things change? It’s just business…

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