After paying $580 million for MySpace in 2005, News Corp. has sold MySpace to a "little-known ad-targeting firm" called Specific Media for a mere $35 million. What could they possibly want, and do, with the once-powerful, now-peripheral social networking site? Here, four theories:
1. MySpace can be profitable if it focuses on music
Sure, the site's days of dominating the booming social networking world are behind it, but "there's probably some sort of profitable business that can be rebuilt," says analyst Michael Gartenberg, as quoted by CNET. The key will be reclaiming the site's roots by making music the focus once again. If MySpace regains its perch as the place where new artists build followings, and friends share music, it could find a niche.
2. It's all about advertising
Specific actually got "MySpace for a steal," says the International Business Times. "The deal will give Specific Media instant access to the data" of tens of millions of "MySpace users for targeted advertisements, besides giving the company a media platform of its own from where it can sell its ads."
3. The headline-grabbing deal makes Specific a player
This deal isn't about getting access to user data for advertising purposes, says Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook as quoted by AdAge. "With the acquisition of MySpace, Specific looks more like a Yahoo or a Google than it does just an ad network." Tens of millions of people are still loyal MySpace users. It's an "iconic brand" that will help elevate the Specific Media brand from ad guys to a "digital media company."
4. Justin Timberlake is on board
The actor/popstar has invested an "undisclosed amount" in MySpace, and is teaming up with Specific in an effort to "rebuild and reinvigorate" the once-great social networking site. According to Vanderhook, the celeb will have an office in MySpace's Beverly Hills headquarters and half a dozen people working for him. Apparently Timberlake "wasn't satisfied with just playing a social media impresario in the movies, so now he's becoming one in real life," says Ryan Nakashima for the Associated Press.