MediaFile

Today In Music: MySpace’s entertainment focus to lead to job cuts. Tomorrow perhaps?

We’d previously heard that MySpace is on course to cut jobs soon and AllThingsD today put that number at around 550 to 600 jobs and promises the announcement will be coming tomorrow.

The way one person familiar with the company’s thinking puts it, MySpace will be restructuring to realign its staff better with its new focus as a social entertainment site targeting Generation Y. It would also give it an opportunity to resolve various legacy issues.  Being a social entertainment site would probably be an easier path than as a social networking site on a hiding to nothing versus the all mighty Facebook but there are probably still questions about how it will make its money beyond advertising. MySpace despite its troubles still remains a key venue for promoting established bands and thousands of aspiring musicians.

The other story from AllThingsD is that News Corp, as we’ve reported,  is also being considered for sale but ATD (which is also owned by News Corp) points out that the parent company is shopping MySpace primarily to private equity buyers though Yahoo is also being considered.

Currently, no talks are happening at News Corp with outsiders on this but it’s a very fluid situation which could change very rapidly once the ‘realignment’ has happened.

It seemed only a few years ago MySpace was the new hot thing on the block but times change rapidly in social media. Below is a pic of News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch and MySpace founder Chris De Wolfe in happier times in 2007.MySpaceDeWolfeMurdoch(Photo: Reuters)

MySpace: Be ready to read this story twice

MySpace, the online social network (can we still call it that now that it has ducked out of the Facebook/Twitter competition?), appears to be pursuing what I’ll call the “two-pronged news strategy.” You get used to it when you cover media and technology. For those of you who don’t enjoy this privilege, it goes like this:

    Pick a news outlet that you like and whisper things to them about what you’re doing. It doesn’t have to be interesting, it just has to be exclusive. If you’re in public relations, you don’t even have to know that someone in your company is doing this. It works well for you. Let the rest of the press read the story and bombard your telephone and e-mail with messages demanding to know if it’s true. Score a big hit on the news cycle. Because you either decline to comment or only want to talk “on background,” it heightens the air of mystery — and newsworthiness. The official announcement of the news, which will always resemble 90 percent or more of what you read in the first round of anonymously sourced stories, will get just as much attention as that first round. It’s a 2-for-1 deal that is irresistible to many companies.

I don’t know that MySpace is doing this, and wouldn’t be able to confirm it if I asked. It could just be that the reporters who get the breaking news have great sources and the reporter asked smart questions that would yield good answers. I’ll let you judge.

The first example comes from Kara Swisher, tech blogger at AllThingsD, which is MySpace’s cousin in the News Corp family. She reports:

MySpace in talks to buy iLike for $20m – reports

MySpace is looking to buy Web music service iLike for around $20 million according to several blogs. iLike co-founder Hadi Partovi declined to comment when we asked him and MySpace’s PR team also declined to share details.

All Things Digital has the latest details of the deal which they say is around $13.5 million in cash, with a $6 million earn out for the founders which include Hadi’s twin brother Ali who is CEO. Official confirmation of an agreement is being held up by “thorny tax issues” according to All Things Digital’s sources.

The news makes some sense because as MySpace is fast losing ground to Facebook in the social networking arena. MySpace’s owner, News Corp, has indicated that it sees the site becoming more of an entertainment portal.

Apple event next month not likely to feature tablet -blog

Tech bloggers love to write about Apple, for better or for worse. The secretive nature of the company means a lot of those blogs are speculative and light on sources, yet  we still all love to read them because the house that Steve built is indeed both a fascinating and hugely successful company.

The latest round of speculation is around Apple’s planned September keynote event which sources have told AllThingsDigital is due to take place on Wednesday,  Sept 9 in San Francisco. There has been a huge amount of speculation around whether Apple will unveil a new tablet device but sources tell the blogs there will be “no discussion whatsoever” of the such a device.

AllThingsDigital’s John Paczkowski isn’t giving up though saying: “Too bad. It’s looking more and more like we’ll have to wait until 2010 for that.”

YouTube’s mythbusters: When blogs attack

It’s taken a while but YouTube is officially pushing back at the various estimates on how much money it costs parent Google by satisfying our collective hunger for million of video clips every day. Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube in 2006, when it bought the site from Chad Hurley and former CTO Steve Chen (pictured).

Various YouTube executives we’ve spoken to privately over the last year have bristled at the idea that they are an expensive experiment for Google without a clear profit-making business model. Google CEO Eric Schmidt took the first step in a change of communications strategy in an group interview with reporters at the Sun Valley conference two weeks ago, and to more listeners on the Google earnings call on Thursday. His central point was that everyone’s favorite video site is on the path to profitability.

On Monday, two of YouTube’s PR executives hit back at some of the myths about YouTube’s business with a blog titled “YouTube myth busting.” These include claims that it only features short-form, grainy user-generated content when in fact it has deals with Hollywood partners and features HD content. They also said more than 70 percent of AdAge Top 100 marketers ran campaigns on YouTube in 2008.

Yahoo: new boss, and (almost) everyone’s happy!

We’ve had two months to ruminate, speculate and analyze about who will take over as Yahoo chief executive after co-founder Jerry Yang who decided 18 months in the hotseat was enough for him.

Carol Bartz, former chief executive of Autodesk, was appointed CEO on Tuesday after her name had been floated ”on sources” a few days earlier in various reports.

Yahoo shares were flat on Wednesday morning and most Wall Street analysts viewed the appointment as a positive as it clears the way for Yahoo to do some sort of merger/outsourcing deal with Microsoft.

Microsoft, Yahoo, restless pigeons and balloons

Have you ever watched pigeons almost take flight as someone approaches, but after a brief flapping of wings decide to sit tight? That was the sense we got from reading the stories that knocked down the latest rumor about who will buy Internet search company Yahoo.

Here’s the story, posted by Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch blog:

Interest in troubled Internet giant Yahoo has not waned, it just took a break for the holidays.

A group of well known Silicon Valley executives and top investment bankers are putting together a Yahoo takeover deal that would be financed largely from debt supplied by Microsoft, we’ve learned from sources with knowledge of the proposed transaction.

Uncle Walt bends FCC chairman over his knee

Walt_MossbergKevin_MartinWalt Mossberg, the world’s most powerful technology product reviewer, opened the final session of the D: All Things Digital conference with an angry tirade against the s-s-s-low state of broadband in the United States.

“WE ARE VERY SLOW,” Mossberg complained of U.S. Internet access speeds.

The target of 61-year-old Uncle Walt’s wrath was Kevin Martin, 42, the boyish-looking chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, who was punished on-stage before an audience of high-tech industry insiders.