Who Owns MySpace? – Foundation to Aquisition

who owns myspace

Who Owns MySpace? – Myspace is a social networking platform that was the social networking site in the world for three consecutive years, from 2005 to 2008. Even though it is not as popular now, Myspace has greatly influenced music and pop culture, and technology. Companies like YouTube, Zynga, PhotoBucket, and RockYou gained prominence through this platform. However, it still holds the distinction of being the first social networking platform that was used worldwide. 

Who Owns MySpace?

Founded in 2003, Myspace gained immense success in its initial years and was acquired by News Corporation just two years later, in July 2005, for $580 million. Myspace continued to see success as it surpassed platforms like Google and Yahoo! And became the most visited website in the country in June 2006. In addition, profit continued, and the platform generated a revenue of $800 million in the fiscal year of 2008.

But with the development of rival social media platforms, Myspace lost its members for various reasons. By May of 2009, Myspace was surpassed by Facebook to become the most viewed website in the United States. However, what began as a decrease in traffic soon turned into a downward spiral as the number of Myspace users continued to decline, reaching as low as 7 million as of 2019.

The company changed hands in June 2009 when Justin Timberlake and Specific Media Group purchased the platform, hoping to revive the business. The purchase was made for nearly $35 million. However, another purchase soon happened when Time Inc. bought myspace and its parent company in February 2016. A significant drop from its initial value, the purchase was made for $87 million, still more than what Timberlake and Specific Media Group paid. Myspace is currently owned by Meredith Corporation, which purchased Time Inc. in January 2018.

Founding

Myspace came into being when many eUniverse employees foresaw the potential of social networking and decided to harness it themselves. Within 10 days, in August 2003, the first version of the social networking platform was ready for launch, using ColdFusion for implementation. The site was launched with a complete infrastructure setup that included human resources, finance, technical expertise, server capacity, and bandwidth. iUniverse’s founder, CEO, and chairman, Brad Greenspan, oversaw the project, and Chris Dewolfe was appointed as the site’s starting CEO. At the same time, Tom Anderson was given the position of Myspace’s starting president.

Jeff Bezos Career Advice
Jeff Bezos Career Advice

The initial resources given to this platform were provided by iUniverse, and the very first Myspace users were the employees from eUniverse. It is a universe that is to be credited for bringing the initial traffic to this website as they used their 20 million users and email subscribers to build the user profile for Myspace. In addition, competitions were held at eUniverse to see who could get the most users to sign up on the platform.

The domain MySpace.com was owned by YourZ.com Inc. originally, and the corporation had plans to launch the domain name with an online data sharing and storage platform. However, by 2003, the idea had changed, and Myspace came to be a social networking website, but only after a friend reminded DeWolfe that he owned that domain name. DeWolfe also had the idea of charging a certain fee for the social networking service they were to provide. Still, Greenspan knew that keeping their services free was crucial to building membership and gaining trust and popularity.

Myspace soon became a well-used site, immensely popular amongst teenagers and young adults. By 2005, they were successful enough for DeWolfe to hold talks with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to acquire the new social networking site for $75 million. However, the deal which could have changed the history of Myspace forever fell through. Myspace was bought along with its parent company eUniverse (which is now called Intermix Media).

First Acquisition

News Corporation bought the platform for $580 million in July 2005. This was a profitable purchase for New Corporation as the website was being visited by 16 million users monthly, and this number was rising exponentially. Viacom was in the running to buy Myspace, too. Still, News Corporation offered a higher price, seen as a valuable investment at the time as News Corporation wanted to expand its own membership, which they could do through Myspace and take advantage of online advertising. Myspace continued to grow as the platform’s value had tripled from the price it was sold for just within a year. The chairman and CEO of Time Inc., Joe Ripp, called this acquisition “game-changing” for the company.

As of January 2006, Myspace was signing up over two hundred thousand users per day. This number had increased to three hundred and twenty thousand users per day by the following year. Myspace overtook sites like Yahoo! to become the most visited website in the United States. ComScore attributed this record increase to Myspace’s “engagement levels” as an average Myspace user viewed nearly 700 pages a month. 

Due to the website’s popularity, Myspace signed a significant advertising deal with Google in August 2006. As per the deal’s conditions, Google now had the exclusive rights to provide sponsored links and internet search results on Myspace. Seen as a great deal that guaranteed the social platform $900 million in the span of three years, this deal also spelled doom in the long run for the social networking platform.  

Myspace continued its profitable run the following year and became a social networking site with a firmly grounded presence in Europe. As per the reports of Nielsen//NetRatings, the company’s reach was commendable and about 10-15 times more in European countries like France, Germany, and Spain than its rival social media site Facebook. In the UK, Myspace’s reach was twice that of Facebook. News Corp tried to merge the platform with Yahoo! in 2008 when Myspace was valued at $12 billion. 

Decline and Second Sale

In 2008, both Myspace and Facebook had reached 115 million users, and the former missed narrowly to become the site with the second-most global users. In April 2008, Myspace gave way to Facebook in Alexa rankings. The following year, Facebook surpassed Myspace by becoming the website with the highest number of unique users in the United States. Once this decline in the number of users began, it continued. 

Several reasons are suggested that contributed to this downfall. Among them, one was Myspace’s inflexibility when providing the users with new features and expanding their domain from just entertainment and music. On the other hand, other rival social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook saw a steady growth because of the continual addition of new features to keep their users attached. 

Another probable reason was the advertising deal with Google. As per this deal, Myspace had to add more advertisements on its page, which was already advertising enough content as Myspace’s revenue came from advertising, given its services were free. As a result, the site became slow and overwrought with advertisements, making the page design less flexible as changing design would mean losing revenue. Since the rival websites had no such hindrance, they gained users while Myspace lost them. 

As per ComScore in March 2011, Myspace had lost over 10 million users in the first two months of the year, and the number of its unique users had declined from 95 million to 63 million in the past year. The steepest fall of traffic was reported in February 2011 as 44%, translating to 37.7 million unique users in the U.S. Advertising deals dropped as the number of users dropped. News Corp put the site up for sale in late February 2011, and the end of May was the deadline for bids. Since the loss of the last quarter of 2010 alone amounted to $156 million, over double that of the previous year, potential buyers refrained from showing interest. 

Myspace announced in June 2011 that Specific Media had acquired the platform. Even though the selling price was kept undisclosed, it was estimated to be as low as $35 million. Notably, less than the $580 million News Corp had spent to acquire Myspace in 2005. It was called a “huge mistake” by Rupert Murdoch.

Current Ownership

No significant improvement in business was seen, and Time Inc. bought myspace and its parent company in February 2016. Two years later, in January 2018, Time Inc., in turn, was acquired by the Meredith Corporation. After the purchase was finalized, Meredith Corp sold quite a few of Time Inc.’s assets. In November 2009, Meredith Corp announced that the corporation was selling back to Viant Technology Holding Inc. its equity in Viant, which has been the parent company of Specific Media since 2008. 

Even though the social networking platform has seen better days, it is still functioning and now offers its users many features, bringing it somewhat close in service to its rival platforms. As of 2016, the site was still receiving over 15 million visitors per month (compared to 2.07 billion visitors on the rival Facebook). In addition, Myspace is now also available as an app on both Android and iOS.

Who Owns MySpace? – Foundation to Aquisition

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top
Land your Dream Job
Get actional first hand insights from people who share their job search stories.