The Panasonic Press Conference at the Consumer Electronics Show was full of surprises, from women’s soccer stars Brandy Chastain, Alex Morgan, and Heather O’Reilly and the announcement that olympic women’s soccer would be telecast in 3D, to MySpace’s move to television (of sorts). But the big deal of the event was the anticipated arrival of mega-star Justin Timberlake.
Mr. Timberlake, who’s become quite involved in the tech sector as an investor, is the co-owner of MySpace and stepped forward to announce MySpace TV, which is another effort at the newest thing in Social Media, Social TV. “This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions: television.”
Some bloggers find this association troubling, with one blogger, Jef Otte at Westword.com, saying he found the association “troubling” because of MySpace’ current image problem.
But let’s deal with that issue front and center. A large part of the MySpace image problem has been the emergence of Black American Hip Hop Culture on it. Thus, such blasts about MySpace are really nothing more than veiled racism. To the extent that MySpace can build off of this cultural base and add television, it will capture a large and growing segment of American Culture that’s truly multi-racial.
Plus, MySpace’s not so bad that Panasonic wasn’t willing to be in on the bet. Here’s Panasonic Vice President for Interactive Content Merwan Mereby, who says that the firm’s decision was based on consumer analysis:
From that perspective, I think MySpace has a chance to catch Facebook, because it will be different from Facebook.