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MySpace sold to Justin Timberlake, ad group for $35M

by Jorge Hernandez on June 30, 2011

A lot can happen in five years, and in the case of MySpace, a lot did. One of the most popular social networking websites in 2006, MySpace was recently purchased by Justin Timberlake and the ad agency Specific Media for $35 million, well short of the $580 million News Corp. paid for it in 2005.

Not many details are known about the sale, the Associated Press reports, outside of the fact that most of the purchase was in the form of Specific Media stock. Additionally, a source close to the deal said that the move resulted in a layoff of about half of MySpace's 500 remaining employees.

The sale marks a tumultuous last several years for MySpace, which was overtaken by Facebook as the go-to social network. The decreasing popularity led to New Corp. losing about $1.4 billion over the last three years. The new buyers, however, hope to turn around the website's reputation and make it a place where bands can stay easily in touch with fans.

"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," Timberlake said in a statement. "MySpace has the potential to be that place."

Many media analysts point to the fact that the advent of smartphones spelled doom for MySpace. Facebook was quick to jump on the trend and integrated into the mobile world. According to the AP, the website saw just 35 million visitors in May, and less than half of its monthly visitors reside within the United States.

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