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MySpace to add amateur, pro video site

June 28, 2007|Joseph Menn | Times Staff Writer

MySpace plans to expand its video offerings this week with a new site that combines amateur and professional material.

The new pages, available at MySpaceTV.com, will be the first MySpace spinoff accessible to those who don't register with the main site. But the new site is also intended as a gathering spot for the wide array of videos that get posted to personal profiles and viewed there.

The videos will be grouped by category and include channels that are sponsored by advertisers or developed jointly with mainstream producers.

MySpace users can set up their own channels with videos they submit or have plucked from elsewhere, said Jeff Berman, MySpace general manager for video. "It's just going to get easier and easier for everyone from the soccer mom to the garage band to create video," he said.

Professionally produced videos that started on News Corp.'s MySpace include Prom Queen, a popular series of mini-episodes backed by former Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Michael Eisner.

More recently, Sony Corp. has posted condensed episodes of classic sitcoms.

The search engine for videos on MySpace has also been revamped, and users can post content more easily.

Video is increasingly important at the top social-networking site because users want it and because it keeps them around to watch more ads.

The number of videos streamed from MySpace has doubled since January. And Berman said the number of people watching streaming video there, 50 million monthly, is second only to Google Inc.'s YouTube.

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joseph.menn@latimes.com

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