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Entries in Myspace (7)

Friday
Oct052012

MySpace CEO: 'There is No Point to Compete with Facebook and Twitter'

MySpace(NEW YORK) -- Justin Timberlake unveiled the new MySpace last week with a tweet containing a link to a video preview of the new site. In addition to a very catchy song, the video revealed a beautiful website with a clean, Pinterest-esque design.

The site, it turns out, doesn't only look entirely different from what you might picture when you think of one of the original social networks, it's also going to be an entirely different type of network. It is a website for connecting artists -- music artists, to start -- with their fans.

Timberlake first planted the seed at MySpace when he became part owner of Specific Media, the company that bought MySpace from News Corp. in 2011. And the Hollywood jack-of-all-trade's fingerprints are all over the future new MySpace. It's a completely new product; it will live separately from the classic MySpace, and will be rolling out to a wider audience and those who have requested invites before the end of the year.

Those are just a couple of things learned when ABC News caught up with the brothers running MySpace -- Tim Vanderhook, the CEO of Specific Media, and Chris Vanderhook, the COO. Here's what they said:

What is the new MySpace? How is it different from the classic MySpace?
Tim: We tried to build a social network for the creative community to connect to their fans and for fans to have a great experience as well to explore and find out more about the artists they love.

You can use other social networks to log onto it, right?
Tim: No one wants to manage another social network. We think it is unique and distinct, it integrates with Facebook and Twitter to be able to pull over your social graph and pull over your identity of who you are. We think Facebook is the uber social network that is supposed to be there. We think we built a great social network for artists. Similar to how LinkedIn built one for business, we think there is a huge gap that we wanted to fulfill. There is no point to compete with Facebook and Twitter.

What is the site called? Will there be two sites now?
Chris: It's referred to right now as the new MySpace. The point is to show a difference between the MySpace classic and the new MySpace.
Tim: There will be a separate section for our consumer base using the classic MySpace. We are going to leave it up for quite awhile. We will make a decision at a later date if we will ever take down the old property.

What inspired the design that is shown in the video?
Chris: My Space started originally back in 2003 and their platform was built on a code base from 2003. Even up to today, the MySpace classic site is built on 2003 code. The world is a much different place, now we have tablets, smartphones, connected TVs. We wanted to build for today and for the future. A lot of the elements from the design is built for widescreen formats for tablets and smartphones. We had the great ability to just build for the future and not compensate for the past.

When will the new MySpace launch?
Chris: You won't see a traditional launch out of us, you'll see it on a rolling basis. We are in a beta period now with artists, managers, DJs, tastemakers. Our employees, which is a little over 700, have been on the site for a few months now. The next to get the invites will the MySpace loyalists and we will continue to roll out invites for the foreseeable future.

So, there won't be a hard launch?
Tim: You're not going to see a moment in time launch from MySpace. We will open up huge swaths of invites as we roll out.
Chris: Another note on the reason we are doing the rolling launch versus the traditional launch: We know we are the underdog. For us it is a little too presumptuous to do a big huge, bang, Steve Jobs launch. That's not our brand and its not right for MySpace. We want to be able to prove everything that we want to do.

How involved has Justin Timberlake been in the project?
Tim: Justin is really involved. He invested in the company and is a part owner of it and has assisted in the development of what the new Myspace is all about. He has instituted a creative team here where we have injected artists as part of the company as well. We work with his creative team. Chris and I were just on the phone with him yesterday. We talk to him on a constant basis. The seed of what we have built stemmed from his vision of what MySpace should be.

Will the site go beyond being a place just for music artists to connect with fans?
Tim: It's for all artists. We think there is an opportunity for all artists, whether you are a filmmaker, producer or a recording artist. We think the idea to create something unique and drive a connection with a fan base has a lot of equity.

Do you have a plan for apps?
Chris: We connected and built the design to live across different devices. You will definitely see those offerings from us.

You sure you don't want to tell me when the site will launch to the public that has been signing up for invites?
Chris: There are consumers we are thinking of opening it up to. There are 5 million artists who use the platform and we need to make sure we serve them well. After we go through that, we will go right to consumers. I believe consumers who are making the requests will be on in due time.

Before the end of the year?
Tim: Yes, before the end of the year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun292011

News Corp. Sells MySpace for $35 Million; Justin Timberlake Now On Board

MySpace dot com(LOS ANGELES) -- News Corp. has sold its ailing social media site, MySpace, to Specific Media for a reported $35 million after buying it for $580 million six years ago.

Specific Media, a California-based company that helps firms buy advertising across the Web, confirmed the purchase in a press release, saying News Corp. would take a minority equity stake in Specific Media. It called MySpace "a recognized leader that has pioneered the social media space."

It did not reveal what it paid for the site, but AllThingsD, which first reported the sale, said the price was $35 million.

Justin Timberlake will also take a stake in the website, according to The Hollywood Reporter.  Timberlake will reportedly assist Specific Media in developing a new creative strategy for MySpace.  The Hollywood Reporter says the social media site is expected to take a more music-centered direction.

“There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. Myspace has the potential to be that place,” said Timberlake in a statement. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”

Significant job cuts are also expected at MySpace. The site was an early leader in social media but has lost out to Facebook and Twitter.

When News Corp. bought MySpace in 2005, it bested rival bidder Viacom for what was then a highly contested property.

In August 2005, MySpace had about 22 million visitors a month in the U.S., compared to eight million for Facebook, according to numbers from the measurement firm ComScore.

Currently, Facebook has about 157 million U.S. visitors a month, while MySpace has just fewer than 35 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun282011

MySpace Could Be Sold for Just $20 Million

Myspace.com(SAN FRANCISCO) -- In what can only be described as the last straw, MySpace is set to be sold for a fraction of what News Corp. paid for it in 2005.

Private equity firm Golden Gate Capital and Specific Media, an online advertising company, are the two major bidders in the sale of the once-popular social media site. News Corp.-owned site AllThingsD.com reports that the sale could be finalized by Thursday and that the sale price may be between $20 million to $30 million -- a small sum considering News Corp. bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million.

This latest report comes a day after separate reports indicated the fledgling social media platform is preparing to make significant cuts to its workforce.

MySpace was largely used by indie music groups but failed to reach all demographics in the same way Facebook has. Facebook, which arrived on the social networking scene with simplicity of design and aggressive marketing, overtook MySpace as the leading social media site and now has nearly 700 million users compared to an estimated 30 million MySpace users.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun282011

Myspace Reportedly Cutting More than a Third of Its Staff

MySpace [dot] com(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) -- For the second time this year, Myspace is reportedly preparing to issue layoffs this week, slashing more than a third of its current staff.

According to TechCrunch.com, the social media network plans to lay off at least 150 of its 400 employees -- or 37.5 percent of its staff -- on Wednesday, when Myspace closes its fiscal year.  Citing a source familiar with the matter, TechCrunch says another 150 workers or so will be placed on a transition plan, receiving pay for a few weeks as they look for a new job.

These latest cuts would add to the near 47 percent reduction in staff the social networking site made in January.

Myspace's reorganization comes as the site gets ready to go up for sale.  TechCrunch reports that the sale could be signed early this week and announced on Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan112011

MySpace Confirms Major Staff Reduction

Photo Courtesy - MySpace [dot] com(BEVERLY HILLS, Calif.) -- MySpace Inc. confirmed on Tuesday that the once-dominant, now dwindling social networking site is cutting nearly half of its work force. The site reportedly plans to eliminate around 500 jobs, or 47 percent of its total staff.

"Today's tough but necessary changes were taken in order to provide the company with a clear path for sustained growth and profitability," MySpace CEO Mike Jones said in a statement.

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal reported the company had planned nearly 1,100 cuts.

In October, the site underwent a major overhaul in an effort to rebound from the network's losses.

MySpace's monthly visitor count dropped in November to 54 million -- down 3.7 million from October, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Advertising revenue has also fallen 26 percent from a year ago.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan032011

MySpace Could Lay Off Half of Staff in January

Photo Courtesy - MySpace dot com(LOS ANGELES) -- The News Corp.-owned social networking site MySpace is reportedly preparing for massive layoffs to take place as early as this month.  A source close to the situation has confirmed to The Wall Street Journal that the cuts could equal to up to 50 percent of its roughly 1,100 employees.  The reports of such massive layoffs has caused speculation the site may be preparing for a potential sale.

The site recently underwent a reconditioning revealed in October in an effort to turn around the ailing network's losses.  As part of the site's makeover, MySpace repositioned itself as a "social entertainment" site for music, entertainment and games. Time has been running out since News Corp.'s Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey said during a conference call that MySpace's losses weren't "acceptable or sustainable" and called for immediate attention to the matter.

MySpace's monthly visitors dropped to 54 million in November -- down 3.7 million from October, according to the Los Angeles Times.  Advertising revenue has also fallen 26 percent from a year ago.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov042010

The Final Months of MySpace?

Photo Courtesy - Myspace dot com(NEW YORK) -- Before there was the giant of Facebook, there was MySpace. But now the world's pioneer social network site may have just months left to live, reports USA Today.

Company officials have been told by News Corp., the owner of MySpace, that the site has to make a financial rebound quickly if it hopes to stay afloat.

News Corp.'s financial report showed that the category dominated by MySpace posted a $156 million loss in the quarter that ended in September, although it did not report how much the site made.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio