MySpace Befriends More Video Content

If you thought that some of the profile pages on MySpace were entertaining, just wait until you check out some of its new video content offerings. News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS  ) social-networking site is teaming up with media specialists such as National Geographic, New York Times (NYSE: NYT  ) , and Reuters (Nasdaq: RTRSY  ) to provide video content.

It's a win-win deal. News Corp. gets some more content to sell ads for, while the providers are handed a young audience that's increasingly tough to reach through conventional channels.

It may be a coincidence that the video expansion comes just days after MySpace improved its content protection technology, but Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) YouTube should start paying attention. Otherwise, the Internet's second most popular video-sharing site -- MySpace -- may start eating into the gap between itself and YouTube.

MySpace introduced its Take Down Stay Down feature over the weekend. If a copyright holder asks for a clip to be taken down, no one will be able to upload the same file again. That feature would have come in handy for YouTube when it had its tussle with Brazil this past winter.

YouTube's proven a lax enforcer of copyright infringement. The video-sharing sites will all need to beef up their filtering applications before content providers get truly comfortable, and they're all making inroads in that direction. Viacom's (NYSE: VIA  ) $1 billion lawsuit against YouTube was a wallop of a wakeup call, but a necessary one. Now companies on the leading edge of automated policing -- like MySpace -- are landing sweet video-syndication deals.

Coincidence? Of course not. It's just good business.

New York Times is a former Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Find out why it was -- and why it now isn't -- a smart stock pick with a free 30-day trial subscription.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz still prefers YouTube to MySpace for online video. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.

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