In a recent News Corp. conference call discussing the company’s fiscal fourth quarter earnings, it was disclosed that the media conglomerate had lost $254 million on the purchase and subsequent sale of social networking site Myspace.
Less than two months ago, Specific Media purchased Myspace for a mere $35 million from News Corp, a far cry from what the company had originally paid for the site.
The rise and fall of Myspace has been one of the most fascinating tech stories of the past decade.
News Corp. bought Myspace for $580 million in 2005. Initially, the deal paid for itself after Google inked a three-year $900 million search advertising deal the following year. At the time of acquisition, Myspace was still growing and became the largest social network in the US a year later.
The fame was short-lived as rival Facebook was gaining popularity. In September 2006 Facebook opened their doors to anyone over 13 with a valid email address. Two years later Facebook had surpassed Myspace as the most popular social networking site in the world.
Since then, Myspace has become less and less relevant as a social network and is now largely considered a failed Web property. Facebook was nearly double the size of Myspace at the beginning of 2009 and just earlier this year, Myspace was forced to cut half of their staff.
According to Digital Trends, new owners Specific Media and Justin Timberlake hope to retool the failed site into an outlet for musicians. A news conference is being planned for later this summer to outline the details.