Fox Interactive Media President Peter Levinsohn says the company's sites had 40 billion page views in the U.S. in January, or about 9.2% of all page views in the U.S., which he hopes to monetize by driving ads deeper into the social networking experience.
That is across a collection of Web assets, including MySpace, whose growth he said has been "phenomenal" over the past 12-18 months, as well as Fox Sports, American Idol, among others.
The moderator at the Bear Stearns media conference in Palm Beach where Levinsohn was presenting agreed that Fox's interactive presence was impressive, calling it the sizzle in the steak, so to speak.
So, how is Fox trying to monetize all that traffic? He said Fox is working with 80 of the top 100 advertisers, Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, and is working on "deeper engagement" with the advertiser.
He cited the "custom community," which is a profile page inside MySpace that are designed specifically for advertisers, saying he can charge low six figures to north of a million dollars.
One of those pages involved a Pontiac "Friends with Benefits” profile in which a Pontiac G5 buyer gets credit for "influencing other potential buyers." Levinsohn also talked about the wealth of data MySpace collects from its users. He said that 90% of users register, which includes "an enormous amount of information," which he said includes "age, marriage status, likes, dislikes, where you live."
He said the site then "combines that data with data we extract from the profile pages...marry it with the enormous amount of inventory we have and then target our ads more effectively." He said he saw it as a way to dramatically increase the CPMs (cost per thousand) across the overall network."
In terms of Internet video, Levinsohn the company is excited about showcases inside MySpace and on Fox TV station sites for Fox programming.
He said that on the station group side, the content would be confined to Fox programming, but that on the MySpace program showcase side the company is talking to all the big players.