Hey, MySpace is great and everything — although it got its start as a spam and malware-pusher, according to Trent Lepinski’s recent opus — and we all know that it is the largest Internet site by far (although there’s some doubt about that too) and that it plans to revolutionize the music business and likely many other things as well. But to say that the company can do just about anything that any Web 2.0 company does, because they all piggyback on MySpace? That’s a bit rich.
And yet, according to Marshall Kirkpatrick over at TechCrunch, that’s exactly what MySpace thinks — or at least what News Corp.’s chief operating officer Peter Chernin thinks. He told investors and analysts at a Merrill Lynch conference that
If you look at virtually any Web 2.0 application, whether its YouTube, whether itâ€™s Flickr, whether itâ€™s Photobucket or any of the next-generation Web applications, almost all of them are really driven off the back of MySpace. [snip] Given that most of their traffic comes from us, if we build adequate if not superior competitors, I think we ought to be able to match them if not exceed them.
You go, Peter. And then you can get into ad-driven search and put old Google out of business too.
My friend Rick Segal, a Canadian VC, congratulates Mr. Chernin on becoming the new head of AOL, and VC Fred Wilson has some thoughts along the same lines, but says MySpace can choose either the open or the closed path. If you want some high-level intellectualizing on that particular point, you can (as always) check out Nick Carr, and my friend Scott Karp of Publishing 2.0 has some worthwhile thoughts on the issue of control versus openness. Om Malik has posted on the MySpace threat as well — a post he apparently published at 3 a.m. Om, buddy… that’s not healthy, dude. 🙂 My friends and fellow mesh-ites Mark Evans and Rob Hyndman have also weighed in.