News Corp. sold its social-networking website Myspace to Specific Media, an online advertising firm, for around $35 million, which was just 6 percent of $580m it paid for the then biggest name in social media in 2005.
Google signed a $900 million deal in 2006 to sell ads on Myspace. Myspace had 300 million registered users and was being valued at $12bn by 2007, but the company was subsequently crushed by present social networking giant Facebook, which launched a year after Myspace.
News Corp. was reportedly looking for $100million, but Specific Media LLC, which emerged as a front-runner for the site only in recent days, will pay $35 million in cash and stock for the site, according to sources.
The company employed 1,400 people when it was at its height but now has only 400 full time employees. The deal requires MySpace to take various cost-cutting measures, including shedding about half of its staff of 400.
The deal will also see MySpace CEO quit his post after a 2-month transitory period. My time here at MySpace represents the most engaging and challenging time of my professional career, Jones wrote. I have found our team to be comprised of the best people I have come across in our industry.
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The deal is a relief for News Corp. and its chief operating officer Chase Carey, who has been frustrated with Myspace's woes.
Specific Media announced that it was teaming up with actor and pop star Justin Timberlake to rebuild and reinvigorate MySpace by making it a place to consume media and connect with entertainers, a strategy several rounds of MySpace managers have pursued unsuccessfully for years. Mr Timberlake invested an undisclosed amount in the company.
There are many synergies between our companies as we are both focused on enhancing digital media experiences by fuelling connections with relevance and interest. We look forward to combining our platforms to drive the next generation of digital innovation,” said Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook in a press release.
Specific Media was formed in 1999 and created its advertising network in 2002. Myspace's 34.9 million monthly visitors would provide an audience for Specific Media’s network of online ads.
News Corp. gained 1.25 percent to $17.39 Wednesday in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The company shares have risen more than 18 percent this year.