Facing The Music, MySpace Expected to Solidify Grip on Under-34s

The NYTimes’ Brian Stelter and Tim Arango write about the challenges facing MySpace’s new CEO Owen Van Natta as the site cedes social networking eyeballs to Facebook.

Compared with the overall online population in the United States, the site draws disproportionate numbers of teenagers, twentysomethings and people whose household income is less than $25,000 a year, according to the measurement firm comScore. The Facebook audience tends to be more affluent, making it a more appealing space for higher-end advertisers.

Furthermore, there are indications that MySpace is losing audience outright. While the site drew 70 million unique visitors in the United States in February and in March, that figure was down from 75 million in December and in January.

Van Natta, who did not comment for the story, and who previously worked for Facebook, is expected to make audio and video an even larger part of the MySpace strategy.

While Facebook increasingly serves as the world’s phone book, MySpace sees itself as a media platform for culture, akin to a television. Its popularity among musicians has bolstered MySpace Music, a site that lets users create playlists and swap songs. Plans for an international music expansion and a mobile song product are under way.