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Nicole Winnaman, president and founder of entertainment branding firm Winnaman & Associates, learned a little more than two weeks ago that Irvine-based advertising network Specific Media was in talks to acquire Myspace from News Corp. The executive, who has paired musicians like Justin Bieber, Britney Spears and Pink with well-known consumer brands, approached Timberlake's manager with a proposal to take a stake in the struggling Myspace as part of the new owner's attempt to bring sexy back to the once-dominant social network."
Specific Media, a digital media company, announced earlier this month its acquisition of Myspace, a leading social networking destination for consumers, celebrities and artists. As part of the deal, Emmy and Grammy winning artist Justin Timberlake will also take an ownership stake and play a major role in developing the creative direction and strategy for the company moving forward. Specific Media and Timberlake plan to unveil their vision for the site in an exclusive press conference later this summer.
“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,” says Timberlake. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”
Myspace has created a robust social networking infrastructure that connects people with the artists and content they love. Specific Media and Timberlake plan to evolve Myspace into the premiere digital destination for original shows, video content and music.
Specific Media will also leverage the Myspace social networking infrastructure to deploy socially-activated advertising campaigns, enabling brands to turn their campaigns viral by allowing users to share their favorite ads with friends
Brothers Tim, Chris and Russell Vanderhook founded Specific Media in 1999 to address the needs of the burgeoning online advertising space. Since then, the company has developed into one of the world’s largest online advertising companies, with capabilities spanning addressable advertising, original programming and cross-media distribution. By bringing its advertising technology and Fortune 500 client base to Myspace, Specific Media is creating a digital hub where consumers, content and brands connect based on mutual interest and relevance.
“We’re thrilled about the opportunity to rebuild and reinvigorate Myspace,” said Tim Vanderhook, CEO of Specific Media. “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. This is the next chapter of digital media, and we are excited to have a hand in writing the script.”
As part of the agreement, News Corporation will take a minority equity stake in Specific Media. Additional terms of the agreement are confidential and will not be disclosed.
Myspace, Inc. is a leading social entertainment destination powered by the passions of fans. Aimed at a Gen Y audience, Myspace drives social interaction by providing a highly personalized experience around entertainment and connecting people to the music, celebrities, TV, movies, and games that they love. These entertainment experiences are available through multiple platforms, including online, mobile devices, and offline events.
Myspace is also the home of Myspace Music, which offers an ever-growing catalogue of freely streamable audio and video content to users and provides major, independent, and unsigned artists alike with the tools to reach new audiences. The company is headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA.
About Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake is an actor, singer/songwriter/producer, and entrepreneur. He has become an accomplished artist who is now widely considered one of pop culture’s most influential entertainers. Timberlake came to fame as a member of the pop group, *NSYNC and, through a successful solo career, has gone on to win six Grammy Awards, two Emmy Awards and dozens of accolades from around the world. As an entrepreneur, Timberlake co-created the popular denim lifestyle brand, William Rast; launched a spirits company with 901 Silver Tequila; runs the Tennman Records label and founded the award-winning Mirimichi Golf course located outside Memphis, TN.
About Specific Media
Specific Media is a digital media company driving viewership for content owners, engagement for brands and relevance for consumers. With capabilities spanning original programming, cross-channel distribution and addressable advertising, the company connects audiences, content and brands, adding meaning to each touch-point. As people discover new ways to consume content, Specific Media creates impactful media experiences no matter where they are.