Every digital service currently puffing out its chest would do well to remember the fable of MySpace.
After it was founded in 2003, MySpace became the most popular social network in the world – particularly so for artists, who began sharing their music on the platform.
Two years later, its worth was confirmed: the company was acquired by News Corporation in July 2005 for $580 million.
By 2006, it was the most visited website in the US – even bigger, believe it or not, than Google.
But by 2008, it had been overtaken in global traffic terms by young upstart Facebook. A year later, widespread lay-offs began.
It was the beginning of the end.
By 2011, News Corp offloaded the site as a lame duck, selling it to Specific Media (in partnership with Justin Timberlake) for somewhere in the region of $35m.
“This acquisition is game-changing for us.”
Joe Ripp, Time Inc
News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch subsequently called his company’s purchase of MySpace “a huge mistake”.
Yesterday, the parent company of Specific Media, Viant Technology, revealed the final insult in the long decline of MySpace.
Viant has sold its assets to Time Inc, the newspaper and magazine giant, for an undisclosed fee.
Although MySpace didn’t warrant a specific mention in the press release, it was part of this bundle of assets, which Time Inc says “will allow [us] to participate in the growing $34 billion performance advertising segment”.
“This acquisition is game changing for us,” said Time Inc. Chairman and CEO Joe Ripp.
“Marketers are selecting media partners that have either data-driven capabilities or premium content; we will be able to deliver both in a single platform, and will stand apart from those that offer just one or the other.
“In other words, we will be able to deliver advertisers’ messages targeted to optimal audiences across all types of devices, along with the ability to measure ROI.”
You’ll notice he’s excited about Viant’s ad tech, as opposed to the MySpace brand.
This could, very well, be the end.
Founded in 1999, Viant owns and operates digital ad technology and media companies including Specific Media, Vindico, Myspace and Xumo.Music Business Worldwide