News Corp have sold the flailing MySpace social network to Specific Media for just $35 million (£22 million), a far cry from the $580 million Rupert Murdoch’s empire paid for the site back in 2005.
In a bizarre twist, Justin Timberlake of “SexyBack”, NSync and the Disney Club fame (as well as a stellar turn as Sean Parker in “The Social Network”, the film about that other friend-making site) also jumps onboard with an ownership stake in MySpace.
“There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favourite 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 revitalise Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”
News Corp retain a 5% stake in the site, which, if Specific Media’s vision proves successful, could still yet be worth a fair bit of money.
“We’re thrilled about the opportunity to rebuild and reinvigorate Myspace,” said Tim Vanderhook, CEO of Specific Media.
“We look forward to partnering with someone as talented as Justin Timberlake, who will lead the business strategy with his creative ideas and vision for transforming Myspace. This is the next chapter of digital media, and we are excited to have a hand in writing the script.”
With Timberlake onboard, MySpace is now expected to focus almost solely on becoming the web’s premier music discovery portal.