Updated at 5:23 pm
Someone should really put Myspace out of its misery. It's almost sad watching it crumble apart, if, for nothing else, the memories of the era it provides. True, aside from the support for musicians, Myspace was much more fluff than substance, but still, it represents an easier time when you didn't have to "Like" everything and sparkly animated gifs embedded into profiles ruled the day. Trips down memory lane aside, reports are that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp final found a buyer for the floundering web property, to the tune of $35 million.
Keep in mind that when News Corp bought Myspace, the amount paid was $580 million, making the current sale price a loss of almost $550 million. Oops.
The purported buyer of the smoldering ruins that are Myspace.com is Specific Media, an online advertising company that specializes in video ads, as well as other video content; judging from the company site, anyway. According to the about page:
Today, the company is leading the next phase of the advertising evolution by being the first to integrate display, video, mobile and IPTV into a single unified platform. Specific Media makes addressable advertising a reality, working across formats and screens and delivering a comprehensive set of targeting technologies and measurement capabilities.
What, exactly, a company that specializes in online advertising needs with Myspace remains to be seen, but it's a good bet that increasing advertising, even if the methods vary, is not the best way to resurrect the property.
Over at NMA.tv, the subject of Myspace's sale, and ultimately, its demise is being caricatured with NMA's normal zeal and excitement. The video, which leads this post, looks like NMA nailed it.
As for the purchase, who knows? There's a buzz in the air that people are looking for a viable Facebook alternative, and if Specific Media can get rid of all the damn clutter Myspace was famous for, as well as making the advertising much, much less intrusive, there could be something of a reprisal for the previous king of social media. Alas, all of that is for naught, however, because Specific Media's goal behind the purchase of Myspace is to harvest advertising data:
A Myspace deal would give the company access to data about Myspace users to be used for ad targeting. It also would transform the firm into a media company with its own ad space to sell instead of simply an online ad technology firm that brokers ad space on behalf of other websites.
There's no doubt the remaining MySpace members will enjoy having their data scoured over in order to find the best way to suggest they buy a pizza or some new shoes.
As for the current crop of Myspace employees, things don't look so good for their future, but then again, if they haven't jumped ship by now, perhaps they have no one to blame. Mashable has a copy of an email CEO Mike Jones sent, confirming the sale to Specific Media, which we've reprinted below:
Today, we are announcing that Myspace will be acquired by Specific Media, one of the world’s leading online media and advertising platforms. Over the next few days you will be hearing from the team at Specific, including their CEO, Tim Vanderhook, regarding their exciting plans for Myspace and how it fits in with the overall vision of their company.
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.
I wanted to take a minute to thank you all for the incredible experience it has been to lead this company and to work closely with all of you over the past several years. While I regret we won’t be working together at Myspace any longer, I am very proud of the work we have done here and believe we have performed with excellence – even under extremely difficult circumstances.
My time here at Myspace represents the most engaging and challenging time of my professional career. I have found our team to be comprised of the best people I have come across in our industry.
You can read the press release below. Once again, thank you for all of your hard work and dedication.
With that, can we now say Myspace is officially dead and gone? Especially when you read about Specific Media's goals with the property?
Apparently, Justin Timberlake, yes, that Justin Timberlake is involved in the deal as well, and will be a part owner in Myspace. There's also a press conference scheduled for "later this summer" where Specific Media and Timberlake will discuss their "vision" for the burning husk of a platform. There's also a quote from the man himself:
"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. Myspace has the potential to be that place," says Timberlake. "Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community."
Combining Timberlake's quote with what we learned from Specific Media -- that is, their desire to leverage whatever advertising data they can salvage -- it looks like the new Myspace will be a music site with lots of video ads.
Not sure how that'll succeed, mind you.