Justin Timberlake has teamed up with Californian digital agency Specific Media to purchase music social network Myspace for $35m, just 6% of the $580m News Corp paid for the service in 2004.
This morning, Music Week confirmed the story and quoted Timberlake as saying:
[He] wanted to take an active role in the development of the site as a place “where fans can go to interact with their favourite entertainers”
Specific Media’s chief exec Tim Vanderhook said of the purchase:
“Myspace is a recognized leader that has pioneered the social media space. The company has transformed the ways in which audiences discover, consume and engage with content online”
The acquisition will also see a reduction in staff, according to outgoing CEO Mike Jones:
“In conjunction with the deal, we are conducting a series of restructuring initiatives, including a significant reduction in our workforce. I will assist Specific with the transition over the next two months before departing my role as Myspace CEO.”
This appears to be a vanity purchase, with little obvious direction indicated for the future of the platform. The once golden child of the social media revolution is now a lumbering overweight player in the music sharing scene, surpassed by hundreds of new alternatives.
As an artist, when it comes to sharing music there are other options for attracting and engaging with your audience, Myspace just doesn’t cut it any more.
What JT and his cohorts will do with Myspace remains to be seen, but I cannot help but think this may be the final nail in the already lead heavy coffin of the once pioneering and career making platform.