IGN UK strong in face of MySpace cuts

The axe has come down at News Corp’s struggling MySpace social network – but it looks like sister division IGN will gain more independence as a result.

Rupert Murdoch’s media empire today confirmed that it is cutting MySpace back to a skeleton crew in the US, with most of its International staff made redundant.

News Corp bought MySpace in July 2005 for US$580 million when the site was best known as a platform for new music talents.

Since then, the media giant has found difficulty in turning the social site into a business, with regular rounds of layoffs, senior exec changes and new strategies. A year ago, the firm was trying to reboot it as a games platform, but was met with a lukewarm reception at GDC given the boom on rival site Facebook.

Divisionally, MySpace was part of News Corp’s ‘Other’ group of online centric businesses – sister to Fox Mobile and IGN. Here in the UK, there was some shared resource between MySpace and IGN’s UK commercial teams.

But with MySpace effectively winding down, that frees up resource for IGN here in the UK at least – and suggests the news affords it some independence.

In fact, a spokesperson at IGN UK told MCV that it now plans to double the amount of dedicated commercial staff it has on board.

"IGN Entertainment UK confirms moves to assume full control of sales operations and to double dedicated commercial staff," said a spokesperson.

"As the market-leader in entertainment and men’s lifestyle media online, IGN Entertainment properties, including IGN.com and AskMen.com reach 3.8m readers a month across the UK, with the network reporting 23% growth in the fourth quarter of 2010 [according to comScore].

"IGN’s media brands focus on delivering engaging entertainment content to their targeted audience of male consumers with recent commercial deals including campaigns for Apple, Energizer and Paco Rabanne."

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