MTV parent Viacom said the company is looking to enter the social networking market this year to compete with sites such as News Corp.-owned MySpace. Viacom CEO Tom Freston said he did not think the market was saturated, and felt there was plenty of room to stake a claim.
Viacom has not decided whether it would create its own site, or enter the market through an acquisition of a preexisting network. The company has held talks with several social networking sites already, according to reports.
However, Viacom never bid on MySpace, saying its revenues did not justify the price tag. News Corp. paid $580 million for the site in July of last year.
In any case, Viacom would have an advantage that many other companies do not: MTV’s network of cable channels is very popular among the 18-25 year-old demographic, the age group that sites like MySpace are targeted toward.
However, MySpace holds a commanding lead over the rest of the social networking industry, with some 25 million plus visitors monthly. Its nearest competitors normally see a fifth of that traffic. Thus, it would be no easy task to take on the social networking giant.
News of Viacom’s plans were first reported by Reuters News Service late Wednesday.
News source: Betanews