MySpace upbeat over ad revenue growth

NEW YORK - MySpace chief executive Chris DeWolfe has said the social networking site can continue to grow advertising revenue in 2009 despite the worsening economic outlook.

Speaking at the Reuters Media Summit by video conference from Los Angeles, DeWolfe said the News Corporation-owned site was continuing to increase revenue and profits despite the poor economy, according to a Reuters report.

He said: "We haven't really seen any impact, other than we think we could have grown even more than we have.

"We see a lot of companies switching dollars from offline media to online media, which is good for us."

MySpace reported an 18% year-on-year increase in revenue last quarter.

However, media analysts have cut their online ad forecasts for the coming year. Research firm eMarketer slashed its forecast of 2008 US online ad spending from $24.9bn to $23.6bn, but that is still an 11.3% rise from 2007.

DeWolfe said MySpace will continue to run as a free, ad-supported website, according to the report.

He said: "[Subscriptions] are not something we're continuing to contemplate... but it's not something we'd rule out either. The core service on MySpace will always be free."