Myspace changes hands after years of struggle with News Corp.
One dollar. That’s how much you’re worth to News Corp. if you still use Myspace. After six years of struggles to keep the brand viable, Rupert Murdoch and his company have sold the flailing social networking site, which still counts 35 million unique users, to online ad company Specific Media for $35 million in cash and stock, reports Reuters.
It was a major fire sale for Rupert Murdoch’s corporation, who purchased Myspace in 2005 for $580 million. The media conglomerate, which will retain a small stake of Myspace, was hoping to recoup at least some of its investment in the race between Specific, Golden Gate Capital, Austin Ventures, and Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick. In fact, the final bid fell well short of a projected $100 million price tag.
Sweeping layoffs — an estimated 50 percent of the staff — will reportedly plague the company in coming weeks. The first to get the ax will be Myspace’s CEO himself. According to Variety, Mike Jones wrote his employees a bittersweet memo: “I am very proud of the work we have done here and believe we have performed with excellence — even under extremely difficult circumstances.”
In what will likely be an aesthetic challenge for the graphically busy site, Specific is expected to combine Myspace’s approximately 35 million unique users into its own ad network. “There are many synergies between our companies as we are both focused on enhancing digital media experiences by fueling connections with relevance and interest,” said Specific CEO, Tim Vanderhook, explaining the strategic merger.