In a bid to muscle in on YouTube’s online video sharing dominance MySpace has re-launched its video site as MySpaceTV, with branded channels including video clips from popular Eighties sitcom Different Strokes.
This and other Eighties television material will come from Sony in the form of five-minute “minisodes”, as well as content deals bringing National Geographic, Fox entertainment, the New York Times and Reuters to the site.
The rebrand and relaunch is seen as a serious attempt by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to capture the YouTube audience, especially in light of the threat posed by social networking site Facebook.
Unlike MySpace itself, MySpaceTV will not require viewers to sign up for an account. However, MySpace members will be able to use Flektor, technology bought by News Corp last month, to create mash-ups and edit video.
Jeff Berman, the general manager of video at MySpace, said that this was the next step in the evolution of video on MySpace and added that more features would be unveiled in the near future.
YouTube still rules, according to LeeAnn Prescott, research director with web analysts HitWise. Its audience share is 50pc larger than that of the next 64 most-visited video sharing sites combined.
However, although YouTube has 60.2pc of the market share, the second largest is MySpaceTV, at 16.1pc. Google Video has 7.8pc while MSN Video has a mere 2.1pc.
By Marie Boran