The Local angle: “MySpace says there 23 million small and local businesses in the U.S. (citing government statistics) Only about 1 million of them advertise online, and those that do generally advertise only via search (Google, Yahoo, Microsoft). MySpace says about 10 million businesses maintain a profile on the service. The goal of the product is to give those businesses a new way to reach out to the community.”
The Vertical angle: “MySpace will also announce the completion of the first phase of another new advertising platform, “HyperTargeting by MySpace” which allows marketers to buy advertising targeted to specific interest-based segments of the MySpace audience. (…) There are around 1,000 total categories.”
I just read the release as well. Chris DeWolfe, CEO and co-founder, adds: “MySpace is the first and only place where a small business can create a display advertising campaign and target it to their desired customer. There are 23 million small businesses in the U.S. and less than a million advertise online. SelfServe is designed for the millions of businesses that don’t advertise online today—we want to bring that new class of advertisers to MySpace.”
What it means: I predict strong success reaching national advertisers (the Techcrunch article mentions that Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Ford and Taco Bell are among the first 50 advertisers quietly trialling the system) but some definite challenges reaching SMEs using self-serve. I’m not sure DeWolfe understands local but, nonetheless, local media companies currently selling Google AdWords and search engine marketing firms should be keeping an eye on that new ad network. There is a lot of inventory in MySpace and if targetting works well, it will be very valuable inventory.