Specific Media is an ad platform. Or, as their website puts it, an "innovative global interactive media company that enables advertisers to connect with consumers in meaningful, impactful, and relevant ways." And they've just hit the news wire all over the world for something nobody really expected: they've acquired MySpace. Yes… that MySpace. AllThingsDigital is reporting the sale price was $35 Million.
NewsCorp, the seller, had purchased MySpace for $580 Million in 2005, and had been rumored to be asking around $100 Million for the struggling social network in recent months. It doesn't take a math professor to see how rapidly MySpace's value has dropped.
Here's what Specific Media's CEO, Tim Vanderhook, had to say about the deal in the company's press release:
"Myspace is a recognized leader that has pioneered the social media space. The company has transformed the ways in which audiences discover, consume and engage with content online. There are many synergies between our companies as we are both focused on enhancing digital media experiences by fueling connections with relevance and interest. We look forward to combining our platforms to drive the next generation of digital innovation.”
Most of the world will react to this news the same way I did: "Why?" Because most of the world has already buried MySpace in their minds. Facebook is growing rapidly, now over 700 million users, and MySpace is a whisper of a memory in the fast-paced world of social media.
There are already some serious job cuts in combination with this purchase, and many MySpacers are now unemployed.
So why does Specific Media want MySpace? It probably has more to do with demographics than anything, when you consider the massive amounts of user and user-behavior data that comes with the purchase, and what Specific could do with that data in terms of improving their ad platform.
But let's also not forget that there are still actual users on MySpace. Lots of them. Just because the number pales in comparison to what it used to be doesn't mean there's not value in those that remain. And for an ad platform, that's a lot of eyeballs and a lot of digital real estate.
But I hope they don't have pie-in-the-sky ideas about turning MySpace's social network misfortunes around and growing the service again. Because I really think that ship has sailed. And honestly, the layoffs seem to suggest that the new owners know this.
I realize this is only loosely related to video, in that Specific Media deals with a ton of video advertising. But I still thought it was important news for video marketers to know about. I'm sure we'll see more information in the coming days on how Specific Media plans to make use of their new property. For now, though, I'm sure a lot of spectators are scratching their heads.
Specific Media has put out a new release that goes into a bit more depth on their plans. Here are the highlights:
- Singer Justin Timberlake is joining the company, taking an ownership stake and playing "a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward." So after playing one of the founders of Facebook, he will actually try and revive the site that Facebook nearly killed.
- Timberlake and Specific Media will have a press conference this summer, detailing the specific (no pun intended) plans for MySpace.
- Timerlake says, "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. 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.”
So it seems that they have much bigger plans for MySpace than I originally expected, with the hope of using it's appeal to musicians as a springboard a more well-rounded artistic community. Interesting, indeed.