Fox Interactive Media (FIM), the online arm of News Corp has plans to become a full service online advertising agency that provides advertising to non-News Corp sites.
FIM President Peter Levinsohn told the audience at the Reuters Media Summit today that the advertising network is already in discussion with other News Corp sites for ad sales and that an expansion outside News Corp could come as soon as the first half of 2008, according to Reuters.
Levinsohn said that the service, known internally as “FIM Serve” was originally built to serve advertising on MySpace, which would be presumed to be part of, or the same service announced by MySpace November 4. He also noted that the service focuses on graphical advertising and would not conflict with the Google/ MySpace search listings deal.
It would however see News Corp go head to head with Google presuming that Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick is finalized.
News Corp continues its push towards becoming the major online player behind Google; the company’s purchase of MySpace for $580 million in 2005 turned out to be the bargain of the century, particularly now that Facebook has been valued at $15 billion. News has purchased a range of online properties including IGN, Flecktor, Photobucket and Rotten Tomatoes amongst others, and was rumored by TechCrunch UK November 22 to be in talks to acquire business social networking site LinkedIn. That list excludes the already enormous traffic captured by News Corp’s online destinations of its vast media empire which will shortly include the Dow Jones company and the Wall Street Journal. We are not that far away from waking up and possibly seeing a world online where the competition is no longer Google vs Yahoo, but Google vs News Corp. Others have failed in challenging Google but so far News has bought wisely and in areas where it believes it can add value and provide synergies across existing properties, and its size and scope may well see it passing Yahoo shortly as Google’s main competition.