Here’s a stat to wake you up this morning: Myspace still attracted 50.6m unique visitors in the US alone last November, generating more than 300m video views.
Not dead yet, then: in fact, the unique visitors figure is up 575% year-on-year according to Tim Vanderhook, CEO of parent company Viant. So, despite the widespread perception in the music industry that Myspace’s 2012 relaunch was a flop, the rebooted entertainment site claims it still has a large audience.
This week, it has revealed more on how it plans to make money out of those people: it’s all about the advertising cloud. Or rather Advertising Cloud, since this is a branded product from Viant, using the data harvested from Myspace and its other internet services.
The idea, in short, is to link people’s online profiles with their offline shopping habits – credit card purchases for example – so that advertisers will know whether their digital ads have led to real-world sales. Viant has already handled $5bn of ad transactions for beta partners, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“We view advertising as our core business. This is what we’ve done for 15 years,” Vanderhook told AdAge in one of a flurry of interviews to explain the new platform. “Now, you can really do targeted advertising to real people and that’s a big differentiator versus the anonymous advertising approach today.”
And while it’s doubtless a more lucrative model than a business built purely on streaming music, it’s still somewhat dispiriting to see that Myspace’s grand, Timberlake-backed music-focused rebirth was ultimately the springboard for a data-harvesting exercise to track people online and offline.
Dispiriting, but perhaps not hugely surprising.