The former king of social networking, Myspace is going to be sold to advertising firm – Specific Media.
The cost? $35 million.
To appreciate that cost, there are a few things that must be known:
-News Corp. boutht the site in 2005 for $580 million (News Corp owns the likes of Fox, Fox News, Fox Sports, Hulu, 49% of the Big Ten Network, and a lot of other stations, websites, etc).
-In 2006, MySpace was projected at being worth 10-20 billion by the year 2009.
-In 2006, MySpace reached 100 million accounts. At the time, Facebook had just 10 million users.
-Over the last several months, News Corp. had been trying to sell the site for a $100 million price tag, and yesterday, they parted with it at the bargain price of $35 million. But there’s a problem.
While $35 million is a far cry from its previous evaluations and while it may appear to be a steal relative to the asking price, I tihnk News Corp is getting the better end of the deal.
Why? Because Myspace is irrelevant. The site has about as much action as the Chernobyl power grid. For News Corp, it is no longer their headache. $35 million may seem relativly cheap in the tech world, but it’s $35 million for a website that has not been viable in three years.
One of the key players in the deal is actor and pop star, Justin Timberlake. He is going to be one of the major creative forces behind the rebranding of MySpace.
I’m sure Timberlake is an inteligent guy, but if he were serious about getting into social networking, I think a better route into the business would have been creating something new. Not getting involved with something that has already has the stygma for being a site that no one uses, save for indie bands that no one has ever heard of.
Timberlake will be a creative influence on the site’s efforts to rebrand. Again, that may sound well and good, but Myspace has tried to rebrand multiple times over the past couple of years, and they have kept failing. I also think a website admitting that they are rebranding is not a good strategy. I feel like it’s basically saying, “We’re not relevant, but we’re working to fix that.”
What’s this rebrand going to be anyway? A platform where you can control your online social network, share music, photos, and video with your friends while connecting with new people?
That’s basically the jist of their last couple of rebranding efforts, and I feel that the site is going to inevitably try to recreate itself as what it already is.
I’ve written about Myspace before. I think the reason why it is such an interesting topic for me is the fact that it is an amazing example of how nothing on the internet is invincible. It’s not just that Myspace isn’t as popular as it used to be. It’s the fact that this site is no longer even relevant.
Also, I could not help but note the irony in the fact that Timberlake played the founder of Napster, sean Parker in “The Social Network,” which was about Facebook. Parker was heavily critizied by the music industry, but was played by a musician, and now that same musician is one of the top men in a company which used to be even bigger than Facebook.