Justin Timberlake now part owner of MySpace
Justin Timberlake, who played a Facebook investor in the film "The Social Network," has joined Specific Media in buying MySpace.
The company had on Wednesday, June 29, purchased the struggling social media website for $35 million from News Corp, which had originally paid $580 million for it. MySpace has shed millions of users since it was launched in 2003.
Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook told Billboard that the new MySpace will be relaunched as an entertainment company that will focus on music as well as other genres.
"Obviously you look at someone like Justin, he's an incredibly talented artist and musician, but he's so much more than that," Vanderhook said about Timberlake. "He has the ability to do TV, movies, he has an incredible photography and design sense."
"Justin will have an office at the Myspace offices," he added. He'll have a staff of about a half dozen people working on his behalf executing his ideas. Of course he's a busy guy with multiple careers, so when his time is open he'll be there to do things himself."
Timberlake said in a statement announcing the sale that MySpace had the potential to be 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."
Before he was an actor, Timberlake found fame as a pop singer in the 1990s. He was a member of the boy band N'Sync and later launched a solo career, releasing hit songs such as "SexyBack" in 2006, a year after MySpace was bought by News Corp. In 2007, at the peak of its success, MySpace was reportedly worth billions.
In 2008, Facebook became more popular, especially after it expanded to include more features. In March, Facebook was valued at $65 billion.
Many users preferred its neutral template as opposed to MySpace's, which was susceptible to spam and also allowed users to decorate their personal pages with flashy animations that were often slow to load.
In the 2010 Oscar-nominated movie "The Social Network," Timberlake played Sean Parker, co-founder of the now-defunct music sharing service Napster who later invested in Facebook and was made its president. Parker is no longer involved with the company.