In an effort to better target its digital ads, Time Inc has acquired what was left of the former social media giant MySpace. By acquiring its user data, the company will have a better understanding of what its readers are interested in, which will allow it to cater ads more effectively.
Time Inc, the publisher of Time, People, NME and Ideal Home, has acquired Viant which is a group of companies that includes the advertising network Specific Media. In 2011, the network bought MySpace for $35 million. This is significantly less than what Rupert Murdoch's News Corp originally paid for the company. News Corp was the first to purchase MySpace for $580 million in 2005.
MySpace has been in a steady decline since it reached its peak in December 2008 with 75.9 million unique visitors a month. Facebook had already begun to overtake the site at this time and would only continue to grow. What helped the new social network set itself apart from MySpace was its clean look and the lack of advertising at its onset.
Although MySpace is no longer nearly what it was, Viant claims to have data from 1 billion registered users. Time is planning to combine the user data it already has with Viant's. This will give the company a very large pool of data that company claims could rival Facebook and Google's own user data.
Time recently reported quarterly revenues of $877 million which is better than expected but still down 2 per cent from last quarter. The company's digital advertising was up 17.2 per cent to $102 million but this was not nearly enough to make up for a $382 million loss from a 6.6 per cent fall in print media and other advertising.