MySpace aims ad service at bands

Program will allow groups to create own banner ads

MySpace will announce today that its MyAds program is available to the public. One group MySpace is aggressively targeting the service towards is bands, which will be able to create their own banner ads and then select which MySpace users will see the ads based on the users' listed interests.

So far there are roughly 1100 categories of interests, ranging from hip-hop to rock to tattooing. There is a $25 minimum per campaign with advertisers bidding against one another for top placement in categories.

"I don't think Mick Jagger is waking up on a Friday morning worrying about driving traffic to a show but The Rolling Stones cover band guy is," said Jeff Berman, president of marketing and sales for MySpace. "This service is for groups well-known in the scene as well as the guys playing in their high school auditorium."

For the past three months the service has been available in private beta to a small pool of MySpace users. It was made available to large brands last year. Links in ads will be able to go to non-MySpace pages in addition to MySpace pages, an addition that was not in the original code. While the company declined to offer specific revenue projections for the service, it is "easily an incremental eight-figure opportunity" said Berman.

Users of the service will receive similar analytics that large advertisers receive, which include hour-by-hour traffic figures. Uploaded ads will be screened for content before being posted to the site.

MySpace, part of News Corp.'s Fox Interactive, launched MySpace Music in September. MySpace Music streams songs as well as sells downloads. In a sign of its size and popularity, MySpace Music announced earlier this month that one billion songs had been streamed in its first month of operation.
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