News Corp. chief financial officer David DeVoe said the revenue figures exceeded the company’s internal benchmarks. News Corp. had projected MySpace revenue to top $500 million this fiscal year.
The results include revenue from MySpace’s deal with Google (GOOG) to monetize search results. DeVoe said that Fox Interactive is expected to benefit more from the Google deal in fiscal 2008. Officials said that Fox Interactive as a whole should be able to approach annual revenue of about $1 billion. This growth would come from the Google search deal, international growth on the Web and better monetization. News Corp. is also benefiting as advertisers flock to social sites at the expense of portals.
Peter Chernin, chief operating officer at News Corp., also noted that MySpace TV is a “solid number two” to YouTube.
“It wasn’t so long ago–24 months–when many thought we were embarking on a fool’s errand (with MySpace),” said News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch. He forecast that MySpace revenue alone will generate more than $800 million in revenue (note: I thought I heard $880 million, but am being conservative since I’m unsure at this point and the call is live).
Murdoch also noted that MySpace generated 4.3 billion page views in one day. While focusing on MySpace, he also noted that Fox Interactive sites such as NYPost.com and Fox News are also growing. Naturally, he addressed the Web properties News Corp. will gain when the Dow Jones (DJ) deal closes. He said Dow Jones’ digital properties (WSJ.com, Barrons.com and Marketwatch.com) give News Corp. many growth opportunities ahead.
Murdoch said the debate is ongoing about whether to make WSJ.com free or keep it subscription based. Murdoch also noted that no decisions have been made, but did note in the long run a free WSJ.com may be a good move.