Trouble in FIM-land

April 4, 2008

myspace.jpgNews Corp jewel Fox Interactive Media (a.k.a the catchy “FIM”) made a late-night admission that its revenue might fall short of a $1 billion target for the current fiscal year.

The division that houses teen hangout MySpace is also revamping its advertising sales division to embrace a new technology that mines user profiles on the social network site to serve visitors more individually-tailored ads.

“We expect to be close to our target,” FIM said of its revenue for fiscal 2008. One company source said the timing of the new ad technology could be partly to blame for any shortfall.

This is not the first sign of trouble at the unit considered News Corp’s boldest play in the digital arena. As early as October, Rupert Murdoch downplayed expectations for MySpace revenue for fiscal 2008, while ad sales partner Google admitted in January that making money off of social networks (read: MySpace) was proving more difficult than even Larry Page and Sergey Brin could have anticipated.

Is that what made Yahoo so attractive?

(Reuters)

Keep an eye on:
* Microsoft and Yahoo senior executives met this week to discuss Microsoft’s proposal to acquire the Internet company but failed to resolve any of their differences. (WSJ)

* The dispute over the $20 billion leveraged buyout of U.S. radio operator Clear Channel will go to trial in New York as early as May 5. (Reuters)

* Mexico’s media giant Televisa starts production of its first Chinese language soap opera, as it looks to the Asian market for new business. (Reuters)

* HarperCollins is forming a new publishing group that will substitute profit-sharing with authors for cash advances and try to eliminate the costly practice of allowing booksellers to return unsold copies. (NYTimes)

(Photo of MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe and News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch, via Reuters)

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One major problem is that many teens and young adults may not have credit cards at this stage in their lives. Or they may be consumed with college expenses and have less disposable income than they would at a future stage in their working lives