News Corp sells MySpace for $35 mn
Los Angeles: Media conglomerate News Corporation has sold MySpace to online advertising network Specific Media in a deal valued at $35 million, a newspaper reported Wednesday.
News Corp, based in New York, had acquired the once-dominant social-networking site for $580 million six years ago, before its user base and advertising revenue plunged amid the rise of Facebook.
The agreement with Irvine, California-based Specific Media ends one of the least successful chapters in the history of News Corp, which had been looking for a buyer for the portal for some time.
The change in ownership signifies the start of a layoff process that was announced in January and will affect nearly half of MySpace's 500 employees.
News Corp acquired MySpace in 2005 at a time when the site had 20 million users, a number that subsequently climbed to more than 76 million in October 2008.
Now, however, MySpace has just 35 million users in the United States, far fewer than Facebook's 157 million, according to ComScore's figures.
MySpace's advertising revenue is projected to total around $180 million in 2011, less than a third of the $605 million the site brought in at its peak.
After News Corp unsuccessfully challenged Facebook's dominance of the social-networking market for two years, California-based Specific Media said it plans to return MySpace to its roots as a place for music fans to discover new songs and bands.