MySpace launches social calendar function with ads

Apr 15, 2010 By RYAN NAKASHIMA , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- MySpace is trying to get on your social calendar - or at least take over how you manage it.

The social networking site, in the midst of an overhaul to regain its lost mojo, is rolling out a service Thursday that blends nearly 1 million concert listings with a calendar and new links to buy tickets from partners or artists. Other pop culture events such as movie debuts and album releases are expected to appear on the calendar as well.

Users can add or subtract which events they see on their personal calendars on by clicking on categories such as music or friends' events. They even could list or remove events they were notified of on Facebook, the rival social networking giant. Listings can be tailored to a user's favorite artists and location.

MySpace is capitalizing on its strength as a forum where 14 million musicians interact with fans and on its bustling invitation application, which it says handled 126 million event invitations in March alone. The new project also opens a channel for advertising that is needed to improve the finances of MySpace, which has become an underperforming unit of News Corp.

MySpace is selling event listings that will show up prominently on users' calendars and profile pages. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is promoting an event to sell merchandise that goes with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.'s latest movie, "How To Train Your Dragon."

MySpace co-president Jason Hirschhorn said the service will make the site's huge database of event listings more relevant to users and give advertisers a way to blend in more seamlessly with users' lives.

"As we look at the future of MySpace, it's important to diversify our revenue streams, but also to figure new ways to integrate advertising," Hirschhorn said.

The new feature takes advantage of MySpace's $20 million acquisition last year of iLike, a popular music application that also runs in , and blends it with Social Plan, an event application that was absorbed by MySpace in January. Social Plan was also a unit of .

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