Oh Myspace. What happened? It seems like just the other day you were on top of the world, the leaders of a revolution. And it was went to crap at warp speed, even in Internet time. Despite Myspace Tom’s taunting, Mark Zuckerberg got over. Imagine that.
Reports All Things D:
Closing another chapter on one of the Internet’s most iconic properties, Myspace has been sold to to Specific Media, an advertising network, for $35 million. Sources close to the situation said the deal is being completed today, although it has not been officially signed. Myspace’s owner, News Corp. will hold onto a very small stake of less than five percent.
The price is well below the $100 million that News Corp. had been hoping for and a chasm away from Myspace’s one-time billion valuation.
The deal includes a halfing of Myspace’s staff of 400, as well as other cost cuts. It’s likely Myspace CEO Mike Jones and other top staff will remain only for an interim period.
News Corp. bought Myspace for $580 million in 2005, and made that back via a lucrative advertising deal with Google when the social networking site was flying high.
In a writeup about the deal, the New York Times’ Brian Stelter notes how not landing a deal for Myspace cost one media big shot his job six years ago.
The sale closes a complex chapter in the history of the Internet and of News Corp., which was widely envied by other media companies when it bagged MySpace in 2005. At that time MySpace was the world’s fastest-growing social network, with 20 million unique visitors each month in the United States. That figure that soon soared to 70 million, but the network could not keep pace with Facebook, which overtook MySpace two years ago.
As users fled MySpace, so too did advertisers. The market research firm eMarketer estimates that the site will earn about $183 million in worldwide ad revenues this year, down from $605 million at its peak, when the site introduced many Web users and many advertisers to the concept of social networking.
Instead of envy, the News Corp. bet on MySpace now provokes punchlines. Tom Freston, who was fired as the chief executive of Viacom in part for failing to buy MySpace, joked in an interview with CNBC earlier this year that “I’m still waiting for a thank you note” from the Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone.
Mr. Freston, who was in Iceland on Wednesday and was smiling at the news of an impending sale, declined to comment.
God, all of this has me feeling so nostalgic. When Myspace came around, it was like a whole new world had opened up, and really, it did. Hell, it was on Myspace where I first started to blog. And now, sadly, it seems as though its lasting legacy will be tied to unleashing Tila Tequila and mirror shots upon the world. Even Jesus had one! (I’m proud to say, however, that I never took one!) All of this on the day it was announced that time spent on social media sites has finally eclipsed time spent on porn sites. Cruel irony?
I think it’s only fitting to end this post with a couple of Myspace-inspired tunes. Tom — who’s now selling houses in Vegas — indeed created a monster, as is explained in the “Myspace Song.”
And who could forget the “Kings Of Myspace?”
See you around, old friend.