MySpace Taps New Content Chief

MySpace has tapped Andy Marcus to take the reins on its efforts in the entertainment arena.

Formerly svp, business and legal affairs at MySpace, Marcus will move over to svp, entertainment and video. He was already playing an instrumental role in securing partnerships with the likes of American Idol for the site’s new audition platform, which he intends to utilize for other entertainment tie-ins.

“That is a big win for us,” said Marcus of the site’s ability to allow users to submit to Idol video of their audition via MySpace. “Over these two and a half weeks, we’ll show reach to an audience that they wouldn’t be able to get anywhere else.”

Having lost much of the momentum that once made it a rival to Facebook, MySpace has been in retrenchment mode for much of the year as it relaunched its site with more of an emphasis on incorporating entertainment content.

But two of the execs who were key to those efforts alongside Marcus have already left: Jason Hirschhorn, co-president, and Jason Kirk, vice president of video and entertainment.

Using MySpace as a grass-roots casting tool has already been a focal point for the site, which did a similar tie-in with Glee last year. While Marcus will look outside of News Corp. for joint ventures, his 14 years in various roles within the conglomerates allows him to leverage internal relationships.

“What I’ve found is by virtue of my longevity here, I can move things along more quickly because I know who to talk to get things done,” he said.

Marcus will report to David Donegan, svp, marketing; he will also play a role in MySpace promotional efforts as they relate to Hollywood. He points to a product integration in place with the syndicated version of Don’t Forget the Lyrics from Twentieth Television in which the brand shows up on air as the series’ karaoke engine. It also has a casting component online for the show.

Marcus is currently working with third-party studios to build a slate of original short-form programming for MySpace, which has been a pioneer in serialized online Webisodes like Quarterlife. Now there will be more of an emphasis on matching the creative to youth-subculture trends emerging from the site’s users and layering the video with user-generated interactivity.