Sexy is not the only thing that Justin Timberlake is bringing back. This week, MySpace announced that in the past month, they have encouraged 1 million new users to jump aboard the once-struggling social network. The site, which Timberlake co-owns, is currently gaining 40,000 new members per day, up from literally zero.
This unlikely resurgence is attributed to their popular new music player, which launched in December. On it, MySpace users can now stream unlimited songs, create personalized radio stations and get music recommendations from their friends. Another saving grace for the network has been a shift in trying to integrate – instead of compete with – Facebook.
At this year's CES, Timberlake kicked off the electronics show by announcing his site's new direction. "We're ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience," he said in his address, explaining MySpace's new foray into TV, which includes real-time interactivity and a partnership with Panasonic.
One of MySpace's strong suits has always been its music platform. With 42 million songs and 100,000 videos, MySpace boasts the largest collection of free music on the Internet. By comparison, Spotify currently has 15 million songs available. The new MySpace aims to shine a spotlight on their extensive media library as they evolve from solely a social network to a full-fledged entertainment destination.
In 2005, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. purchased MySpace from original founder Tom Anderson for $580 million, but in 2011 – after failing "in every way possible" – Murdoch sold it to Specific Media for $35 million.
In terms of U.S. traffic, MySpace had a surprising showing in 2011, coming ahead of Tumblr, LinkedIn and Google+. Continuing the upward trend, monthly traffic in January was up by 4 percent.
The new figures may indicate that MySpace's new owners, including Timberlake, might have gotten away with a $ 500 million bargain.
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