NEW YORK – Justin Timberlake bought MySpace for $35 million.
Justin Timberlake plans to take a “major role” in the day-to-day operation of a new, redesigned Myspace after he dropped $35m for the ailing social network.
The singer turned actor, who starred as Facebook investor Sean Parker in the Hollywood hit The Social Network, bought Myspace yesterday. An online advertising company, Specific Media, tossed in another $1 million.
The unlikely entrepreneur will “lead the business strategy” for the fallen social network, and Specific Media chief executive Tim Vangerhook, will be in charge of keeping Justin “focused.”
Timberlake has already announced that he is adding a “wall” to the redisgne of MySpace and he said he came up with a way that people can “buddy” each other. “People will be like… can I buddy you? It’s going to be hot.”
Myspace has shed billions of dollars from its price tag since it was dethroned as the dominant social network in 2008. Ruper Murdoch’s News Corporation agreed on Wednesday to sell Myspace for a fraction of the $100m it was seeking – a sign of the site’s dramatic fall from greatness.
Timberlake, 30, will have an office in Myspace and will “probably be there every day,” according to a spokesperson.
Asked whether he thought Timberlake had been inspired by his star turn in The Social Network, Vanderhook said: “I don’t think it was so much that – that was just ironic. He’s really passionate about how can he create a better community.”
Timberlake said in a statement: “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 will be that place. I think people need a social network to connect with each other – it’s something that’s been missing for years.”
Timberlake will immediately focus on making MySpace “the” place to go for artists.
“Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalise Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”
Myspace is expected to shed more than half of its 500 remaining staff as part of the deal. The layoffs follow a 30% staff reduction in April last year, and a further 47% cut in January. Two years ago Myspace employed more than 1,400 people.
Timberlake plans to hire Britney Spears to head “something.”