Keeping in mind the growing popularity of social networking in India, MySpace, the social networking arm of Fox Interactive Media Inc., has officially announced its operations in the country. Company officials claimed that MySpace had already registered a user-base of more than half a million in India, and would position itself as a platform for Indian audiences to exhibit talent and be recognised globally.
Unlike other networking sites, the officials said that MySpace gave its users a free hand in creating an environment of their own. Moreover, the officials informed, localisation was their agenda, and they were even looking forward to offering services in different Indian languages.
Travis Katz, Managing Director – International, MySpace, said, “We’re thrilled to be launching MySpace in one of the world’s most vibrant cultures. We will be providing the people of India the tools they need to live their lives online and empower them with a launch pad for Indian creators from developers, to musicians to filmmakers, to showcase their talents on the global stage.”
On the promotion front, the idea is to go viral and generate publicity by word-of-mouth. The site would also look at cross promotions by partnering with different media and by organising events music shows and concerts. “We do not require to take the traditional advertising route. A social networking website itself is a tool that generates awareness for itself, with active users sharing experiences over the Internet, it becomes easy to reach the masses that way,” explained Katz.
He further said, “We are focusing on delivering the best possible experience of content and culture through a range of industry partnerships and product innovations. One such partnership or alliance is with Star TV to create an original network television programme called ‘Campus Star’ featured on Channel [v]. The new show, currently airing on television in India, is a nationwide college talent competition featuring celebrity judges and the voting MySpace audience.”
Commenting on the business model, Amit Kapur, Chief Operating Officer, MySpace, said, “We are primarily looking at advertising as our business model. We have an impressive list of global clients around the world, and with a strong team here in India, we are sure that with the sites growing popularity, we would be able to provide value to our advertisers.”
Kapur further said, “Mobile is a big opportunity in India – it is an upcoming medium, and we would certainly look at it as a revenue generating option in future.”
MySpace India has also entered into an association with SaReGaMa, through which it would soon be launching a series of albums. Under the MySpace Live! umbrella, the social networking site would produce international quality concert content with Indian bands, for Indian and international television audiences. First of these concerts would be held in celebration of the MySpace India launch.
The local site would be hosting an outdoor musical event held at the historic Land’s End Amphitheater, where more than 1,000 MySpace users would see live performances by Indian rock bands like Pentagram Super Fuzz and Them Clones. This concert would be broadcast on Zee Café. Further concerts in Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, and the North East are being planned.
On April 21, the MySpace Developer Platform team would be on-site in Bangalore to welcome local developers on to the open MySpace platform. As one of the most innovative technical hubs worldwide, MySpace would work with local developers across India and empower them with necessary tools to build applications for the site’s users worldwide. To date, MySpace has hosted local ‘devJAM’ developer workshops in Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul, Sydney, London, Berlin, Seattle, Stockholm, and San Francisco.
The launch of MySpace India comes on the heels of the MySpace Korea launch, which was ushered in earlier this week by CEO Chris DeWolfe and Travis Katz in Seoul. MySpace Korea, which received a 400 per cent user sign-up increase since the official launch, features a unique user interface and product functionality, including Mini Logs (micro-blogging).