When asked if Yahoo would start to focus on the younger demographic, Bartz responded “So one thing I would say, I want to make sure that we serve the demographic that we have now very, very well. Also what I would tell you, the good news is, that crowd is very finicky. And just as MySpace was extremely hot and then moved over to Facebook, who knows what’s going to come next and who knows whether Yahoo! can grab that property and be successful.”
The press took that quote and ran with it, writing headlines like this one from Reuters: Facebook hotter than MySpace: Yahoo CEO Bartz.
Bartz may have singled out MySpace because of a Financial Times article noting that the company was successfully targeting Yahoo’s advertisers.
I caught MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe in the hallway at the World Economic Forum at Davos earlier today. I have a much longer interview that I’ll post tomorrow. But I also asked him what he thought of being called out by Bartz. His response is in the video above. He was polite, but threw in a couple of zingers, saying Bartz, who is new to the consumer Internet space and is still learning, and “she’s not from this industry and it will probably take some time to get acclimated.” He also says he doubts Bartz has ever been on the MySpace website. Full transcript of the brief exchange is below.
Michael Arrington: I’m here with MySpace CEO Chris DeWolfe. Chris, sorry to grab you in the hallway, there’s something I’ve mean meaning to ask you. A couple of days ago the new Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz on an earnings call said something we found kind of funny. She said something along the lines of “Facebook is hot, MySpace isn’t, or MySpace is dead “or something along those lines. I found that interesting given that you guys have a pretty awesome revenue trajectory and also you guys are partners on OpenSocial and some other stuff. What was your reaction to that?
Chris DeWolfe: I didn’t have a big reaction to that. I think she is fairly new to the consumer internet space and is probably still learning. I hear she’s a really smart person and she’ll do a good job there. I doubt she’s been on our site and if you look at our numbers in the United States, we have 76 million unique users and our nearest competitor has 45 million unique users. So, it’s kind of an odd statement but again, she’s not from this industry and it will probably take some time to get acclimated.
Michael Arrington: All right, thanks very much.