Sometimes you just can’t make stuff up. In news that is just mind boggling, it has been revealed that News Corporation has in theory sold Myspace, its money haemorrhaging social networking relic for the tidy sum of $35 million to none other than Justin Timberlake. Well, it’d be a tidy sum if the company hadn’t paid $580 million for it in 2005.
To add insult to a $545 million loss, if you look in to the actual mechanics of the sale, News Corporation have effectively given Myspace away, because the $35 million they received for the antique website wasn’t even in cash – it was in shares. Although the specifics of the sale haven’t been made public yet (and surely News Corp wants to keep them under wraps forever), sources familiar with the deal nutted out say that News Corp received a private equity stake in buyer Specific Media and a miniscule share of less than a 5 per cent stake in MySpace.
Specific Media is a California based broker of internet advertising and even though Myspace was worthless in comparison to the price that News Corp paid for it, commentators believe that the price Specific paid for it was still a complete bargain. Even though the number of people using Myspace has plummeted since it reached its peak in 2008 before everyone legged it to Facebook, the number of people still using it means that the ad sales it will generate should see the investment paid off in a much shorter period than standard business investment returns.
It’s a humiliating exit for News Corp, whose head honcho Rupert Murdoch had bragged to the world that Myspace would soon generate $1 billion in annual revenue not long after buying it. In fact, the business segment that was home to Myspace lost a cumulative $1.4 billion in the last three years. The sale is expected to see the layoffs of approximately half of the site’s remaining 500 workforce.
However, in further news that you simply can’t make up, one of the buyers in the Specific Media consortium that ‘purchased’ Myspace was none other than Justin Timberlake! Clearly unsatisfied with merely playing Napster co-founder Sean Parker in The Social Network, a movie about Facebook, he’s decided to join in the internet entrepreneurship race himself and taken a stake. He’ll be a consultant to Myspace and have an office in MySpace’s Beverly Hills headquarters along with a staff of half a dozen flunkies working for him “around the clock” “developing” his brilliant ideas for the site, according to Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook.
He says “When we met with Justin and we discussed what our strategy was, we hit a chord with him. One of his passions is he really enjoys helping other artists and creating a community for people to really express themselves. I think we were blown away that we were able to get someone like Justin to be so excited about what we were doing.”
Timberlake continued the mutual jerk off, saying “There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favourite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect.” The Emmy and Grammy award winning artist’s statement continued, “MySpace has the potential to be that place.” This now begs the most important question of all. If, on the very off chance that some lost soul DID choose to set up a Myspace account, who would they gain as their first friend? Myspace Tom or Justin Timberlake?