Back in 2005, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation made a big play to enter the social media business with its $580M acquisition of Myspace. It is now about to close the book on this chapter of its corporate history, wiser and many millions of dollars poorer.
Specific Media is stepping forward to buy the property out of the bargain basement bin, paying $35M for it. News Corporation will have a small stake in the operation going forward.
Also taking a stake in the venture is pop star Justin Timberlake. The Emmy and Grammy winner will “play a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward.”
“There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. Myspace has the potential to be that place,” said Timberlake. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”
According to the New York Times, Myspace brought in $605M in annual advertising revenue at the height of its effectiveness, but was not even expected to ring up as much as a third of that total when final results from 2011 go into the ledger.
The membership total high water mark was registered in October 2008, when it reached 76.3M users. Its US monthly visitor total is down to 35M, compared to 157M for rival Facebook.
Observers note that while the site is certainly down on its luck, its user pool still puts it among the top sites in the world.