It looked like MySpace’s future was about to end on a sour note. Yet, Specific Media’s recent acquisition of the file sharing music platform has MySpace singing a different tune. News Corp sold MySpace to Specific Media for a bargain basement price of $35 Million. Seven years ago, News Corp shelled out more than six hundred million dollars for the company.
Specific Media is an interactive media company that connects advertisers with consumers by leveraging social media opportunities. The company saw MySpace as a great vehicle with which to expand its network through MySpace 77 million users and $100 million cash in advertising revenue. The Specific Media deal came with a PR bonus as one of its executive team will be rock star Justin Timberlake. He will play an active role as creative director of the re-constituted social network. Interestingly, Timberlake’s name made hi-tech headlines again recently as one of the investors of a business that was absorbed by Apple. Looks like Timberlake is putting his money where his mouth is in the emerging technology arena.
Conventional wisdom is that News Corp lacked the right corporate culture to nurture a social platform like MySpace. The News Corp is still largely immersed in an era of big city newspaper publishers that focused on profit rather than innovation. Social marketing has ushered in a new paradigm of how businesses interact with their customers. Companies like Specific Media and investors like Timberlake embrace the new paradigm as the future of new age marketing.
Some fans are concerned about rumors that the new owners will transition MySpace as a digital entertainment destination. The fear is that it will be turned into a platform based on the Facebook model where all comers are invited which diminishes its focus on music.