Myspace launched a free, ad-supported mobile website today (mobile.myspace.com), this according to both moconews and MobiAd. From what I understand the site soft-launched a few months ago, so this new announcement must be the official “hard” launch, although the site still says “beta” in masthead (the Google affect, no doubt). The move comes after the launch of the subscription-based myspace mobile J2ME client on AT&T and Helio about a year ago.
From a user experience perspective, the site works well and is quite snappy in my testing on a Verizon Blackberry 8830. That said, the Ford Focus ad displayed was not optimized for my handset. It could be that the 8830 was not recognized by the ad server and therefore defaulted to the 215 x 34 ad size (instead of the 305 x 64 that should have been served), although it’s far more likely that myspace’s mobile ad server is simply not optimizing ad delivery based on the device, as the 8830 is a highly popular handset and would therefore be included in any decent device library, including WURFL. Additionally, after many page refreshes the Ford ad is the only unit shown, indicating that either the site doesn’t permit advertiser session / frequency capping, or that this campaign simply isn’t using it (perhaps Ford is the only advertiser on myspace mobile at this time?).
Fox Interactive Media’s mobile partner on the advertising-side is
Boston Baltimore-based Millennial Media, who is handling both the ad serving for myspace mobile (as well as most other FIM mobile sites) via their MYDAS server, as well as repping the inventory directly to advertisers and agencies. Currently they are serving banners basically an ROS basis, although I am told plans are in the works to bring advanced demographic, geographic and psychographic targeting online “in the coming year” – all based on user registration data. While advanced targeting is attractive from a planning / efficiency standpoint, in my view ad targeting becomes less relevant that overall reach (at least until the mobile web’s scale reaches critical mass)… and in myspace’s case, what I’d really like to see from them is a targeting option that can restrict an ad rotation to pages that do not contain user generated content, for obvious reasons.