Social Network site Myspace has signed a global distribution deal that will bring its online television shows to an international audience and create localized versions of the same programs. The deal with ShineReveille is the n
ewest step in the News Corps. Web site to distinguish itself as a full media platform much different than rival Facebook.
With the distribution deal, Myspace will be able to release its original series like “Quarterlife” and “Roommates” to DVDs and televisions outside of the U.S. while creating the opportunity to change the entire way mainstream television shows are made in America.
The international distribution deal broadens the audience of already-popular Myspace web series, making the Internet a budding platform to inexpensively test television pilots.
Influenced by the lengthy writers’ strike in Hollywood and the popularity of Myspace’s web series, media companies have been pondering ways to avoid the expensive process of creating many series pilots each year only to reject almost all of them.
Despite having 5.5 million viewers of “Quarterlife” on Myspace.com, the NBC broadcast only pulled in 3.1 million viewers, forcing the company to cancel the show, but compared to current pilots, “Quarterlife” was a much cheaper pilot to produce.
“We’re very excited to see how the shows on online platforms can transfer to television,” Alex Mahon, the president of the Shine Group, ShineReveille’s parent company, said.
The distribution deal is also a family affair, as Elisabeth Murdoch, the chief officer of the Shine Group is the daughter of News Corps.’ Chairman Rupert Murdoch.
In the deal, both companies will share licensing revenue, but Myspace will retain all Internet rights for its global programs and all media rights for those within the U.S.
After brokering a deal last week with four big Music labels to rival Apple’s iTunes, Myspace’s newest partnership shows the company’s ambition outside of social networking, possibly changing media as we know it.
By Danny Scuderi
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