Art Imitates Life: Justin Timberlake Invests In Myspace

Remember when Justin Timberlake was in David Fincher’s The Social Network? Well, life may be imitating art as Timberlake invests in MySpace.

Remember when Justin Timberlake was in David Fincher’s The Social Network? Well, life may be imitating art as Timberlake invests in Myspace.

If you remember when Justin Timberlake became a solo artist, chances are you remember Myspace. It was founded by Chris De Wolfe and Tom Anderson in 2003, and it quickly became famous as a way to connect with friends and for bands and artists to promote their work. It was bought by News Corp in 2005 for approximately 580 million dollars and would peak in popularity in 2008. However, Facebook was and up an coming social platform, and Myspace’s popularity plummeted in response to the competition. Myspace’s members decreased by almost 40 million in 2011, and News Corp sold the company for 25 million – paltry compared to what it was originally bought for.

However, not everyone has lost interest in Myspace. Specific Media has teamed up with Justin Timberlake to buy the social networking site. They seem like an odd couple. Specific Media is an “innovative global interactive media company that enables advertisers to connect with consumers in meaningful, impactful and relevant ways”. And Timberlake? Well, he brought us “Like I love you”. Or at least, many people will associate Timberlake with his music and film career. In fact, he has launched a clothing line with friend Juan Ayla, has his own brand of tequila, and has re-developed a golf course in his home town to be eco friendly.

What plan do these unlikely partners have to rejuvenate MySpace? Well, it looks like they’ll be playing in familiar territory for Timberlake: arts and entertainment.CEO of Specific Media, Tim Vanderhook noted: “When we met with Justin and we discussed what our strategy was, we hit a chord with him. One of his passions is he really enjoys helping other artists and creating a community for people to express themselves. I think we were blown away that we were able to get someone like Justin to be so excited about what we were doing”

Specific Media plans on releasing more details in two months, but notes that the general plan is to “evolve Myspace into the premiere digital destination for original shows, video content, and music.” In a statement, Timberlake agress: “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, but the biggest question will be if an old platform can be revitalized or if it would have been more productive to start over entirely. However, there is another potential lurking in the Myspace sale: Facebook’s potential. Myspace’s story, like Friendster before it, reminds us that as quickly as Internet phenomena can grow, they can also fall. Will Facebook ebb as MySpace flows? It’s hard to say. What’s certain? There’s bound to be a lot of bringing the “sexy back” to Myspace jokes in our future.