Art Imitating Life: Justin Timberlake Invests in MySpace
06.30.11 by Mandy
Remember MySpace? Probably. Remember your MySpace password? That's probably less likely. The social networking site was huge several years ago. It was a place to put stuff about yourself and you could only stop others from viewing it if you claimed to be under the age of 14. Then they started letting people set their information to "private" and it got boring. Next, Facebook let people without an .edu address sign up. Poor MySpace has never been the same since.
Don't give up on it yet though, the social networking site just might get interesting again. According the The Wrap, Specific Media has just acquired the site and Justin Timberlake has an undisclosed stake in it. Hmmm, something Napster-like? After all, Timberlake played Napster co-creator Sean Parker in last year's The Social Network which followed the creation of the Facebook website.
All we know is that the (unsurprising) direction Timberlake wants to take with it will focus on music. Maybe Timberlake will get to change "the music industry for better and for always" just like his Social Network character?
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 has the potential to be that place.
It does have that potential. While Facebook beat MySpace at the social networking game, the band and music pages on Facebook still aren't as intuitive or user friendly as they are on MySpace. While talk of re-branding MySpace to focus on music has been around for years, the idea hasn't ever really taken off. Colin Petrie-Norris, the international director of Specific Media, told the Guardian that the purchase of the deal was "no slam dunk."
We recognise that [buying MySpace] is no sure thing and not a slam dunk deal. It will be a considerable task [to grow the business and turn the brand around] but we are quietly confident that we can do so.
Specific Media's CEO, Tim Vanderhook, thinks that having Timberlake on board could make the difference in bringing MySpace back.
We look forward to partnering with someone as talented as Justin Timberlake who will lead the business strategy with his creative ideas and vision for transforming MySpace.
Whether or not MySpace can come to the forefront of social media again, Timberlake will be just fine. He stars in two movies this summer — Bad Teacher, out last week, and Friends with Benefits, which will be released in late July.