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June 30, 2011

Specific Media and Justin Timberlake buy Myspace for $35m

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp had bought Myspace for $580m in 2005

By CBR Staff Writer

Myspace logo

Advertising company Specific Media and singer turned actor Justin Timberlake have teamed up to buy News Corp’s social networking site Myspace.

The deal is reportedly for $35m, much less than the $100m News Corp was seeking. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp had bought Myspace for $580m in 2005. News Corp will retain a minority stake in the company.

The slide for the ailing Myspace from a prominent social networking site began in 2008.

For the last two years, the site has been struggling to compete with new players such as Facebook, which now has over 30 million registered users in the UK alone.

In April this year, a report said that News Corp was expected to receive bids from about half a dozen private equity firms and companies for its social networking site Myspace.

According to sources familiar to the matter, News Corp was seeking more than $100m for the Los Angeles-based company, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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Private equity firm THL Partners, Redscout Ventures and Criterion were among the names expected to bid for Myspace. Other names include Chinese Internet holding company Tencent and Myspace co-founder Chris De Wolfe.

Myspace was relaunched last year as a social entertainment site with a focus on celebrities, music and movies.

However, MySpace’ Web traffic dropped from 73 million to 63 million unique visitors between January and February this year.

Digital market intelligence provider comScore found that MySpace lost 10 million unique users in just one month. It also said that traffic to the social networking turned entertainment site is around half what it was a year ago.

MySpace had around 95 million unique users in the first quarter of 2010 when it began its major relaunches.

In November 2010 MySpace chief executive Mike Jones said that the site had changed its focus from a social networking site to a social entertainment site.

Jones said, "MySpace is a not a social network anymore. It is now a social entertainment destination."

At the start of the year, Jones announced job cuts in both the US and in its international operations.

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