MySpace's self-serve advertising program has been off to a promising start

Today, MySpace is providing new details about the progress of its existing self-serve advertising program, called myAds. More than 3,500 advertisers of various sizes have already signed up, including musicians and small businesses in various industries, according to the News Corp.-owned social network.

MySpace launched myAds in late July, and it left beta testing in September; it has been expected since last year.

The service’s revenue goals were passed in the first week that it went live, MySpace says, with a client base has been growing 200 percent since it left beta. I don’t have any hard numbers, but it all sounds quite promising.

MyAds uses existing MySpace’s ad targeting technology, called “HyperTargeting,” where the company matches user information to automatically decide which ads will appear next to which users. This helps advertisers reach the right consumers more efficiently than an untargeted banner ad. An advertiser sets a cost-per-click (CPC) price based on its desired targeting from among 1,100 “interest” categories. Pricing is set at a minimum of $0.25 per click.

Ad campaigns cost between $25 and $10,000, and use standard ad units as specified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Advertisers can create ads using pre-built templates or upload their own. MyAds includes an analytics service that shows ad impressions, number of clickthroughs and current cost of a campaign.

For example, one interest category is “videogame,” — if MySpace data shows a user is into video games, a video game creator’s ad might run next to them. These interest categories are matched with more general information about users, like age and location.

While young, this is another promising way for MySpace to make money. The social networking site is already among the brighter lights in News Corp.’s traditional-media-heavy portfolio. “MySpace is one of their BEST-performing assets right now…MySpace is doing great,” says one analyst. The company didn’t quite meet its $1 billion revenue target last year, but the word on the street is it came relatively close — making it the highest-earning social network (that I’m aware of) by far.

[Extra credit: Find the image of Borat in the screenshot, above.]