Friday, July 1, 2011

Will Myspace get its sexy back?

This week News Corp. announced that it was selling Myspace to Specific Media Inc. for $35 million, including a 5 percent stake in Specific Media. This pales in comparison to the $580 million purchase price News Corp. paid in 2005.

What happened? Bloomberg Businessweek ran an in-depth story that offers some insight.

I believe that two of the keys relate to public relations and nimbleness.

Public relations:  Myspace gained a reputation as a haven for perverts. In 2007, four families claimed that their daughters has been sexually abused by adults met on Myspace. The site tried to handle the situation by removing 90,000 sex offenders from the site in 2009, but it was too late.

People flocked from the site in droves, and parents were reluctant to let their teens participate.

Nimbleness:  As we learned from AOL-Time Warner merger, it just doesn't seem to work when big media conglomerates run Internet companies. The culture shifts, there becomes more of a focus on profitability, and the user experience declines.

Apparently Justin Timberlake will take a stake in Specific Media and help develop a new Myspace strategy, but it's too late.
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