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Myspace Acquisition By Specific Media To Mark New Era?

It is somehow quite unsettling that a company that presents itself as "Europe’s largest independent digital media platform" has managed to convince Rubert Murdoch's News Corp to sell Myspace for one-sixteenth of its original price, and probably nearer to one billion dollars once you account for the capital investment, salaries and other investments since it was acquired in 2005.

The fact that a social network moved from an owner rooted in the content production & distribution world to one which packages and sells adverts around it, is highly symbolic, because it shows that media owners may not always know what's best in terms of online monetization strategies.

Myspace's demise will certainly be a (rare) personal failure for Rupert Murdoch but the tycoon has only himself (and his staff) to blame. The site was the world's biggest social networking website when it was sold in 2005 and did not react fast enough when Facebook and Twitter appeared on the scene much later.

The number of unique users on the site fell by more than half from 2008 to 2011 and now stands at around 35 million, which means that Specific Media paid roughly $1 per visitor for a site that still ranks amongst the top 100 in the world.

Specific Media's acquisition of Myspace may mark the beginning of an era where short-term monetization strategy rather than a "grow-and-sell" one will prevail ... and it may also burst that web bubble.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.