The Tech Herald

MySpace on the up after Specific Media reboot?

by Steven Mostyn - Feb 14 2012, 20:04

Image: MySpace.

There was a time, in the not too distant past, when MySpace was considered to be the world’s leading social networking destination—but that was before being abruptly eclipsed by the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

However, although the platform has been all-but shunted into online obscurity, it would appear the once mighty social service is undergoing something of a revival following its purchase from News Corp. by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake.

Whether down to a genuine surge of renewed interest or merely post-mortem muscle spasms, Specific Media chief executive Tim Vanderhook this week told The New York Times that MySpace has added around one million new members since its December 2011 reboot.

According to Vanderhook, signups rates in December went from a flatline zero to around 40,000 per day in light of the network’s recent re-imagining as something closer to a music and entertainment hub.

That appeal is grounded in the availability of some 42 million music tracks, licensing deals with thousands of major and independent record labels, a mass of unsigned musical acts, and integration with Facebook and Twitter.

Another aspect of note expected to help buff MySpace’s tarnished gleam is the imminent addition of MySpace TV, which Timberlake formally rolled out during a CES 2012 press conference.

“We’re ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience,” he enthused.

“Why text or email your friends to talk about your favorite programs after they’ve aired when you could be sharing the experience with real-time interactivity from anywhere across the globe,” he added.

Using MySpace TV, Timberlake and Vanderhook hope to introduce access to channels covering the likes of movies, news updates, sports broadcasts and reality-based content.     

Launched in 2003 and bought by News Corp in 2005 for $580 million USD, MySpace was subsequently sold in 2011 to Specific Media and Timberlake for a measly $35 million USD amid nose-diving user interest.

As of December 2011, MySpace had around 30 million users. By way of comparison, Facebook presently has somewhere in the region of 800 million users, while Twitter has in excess of 300 million.

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