MySpace Purchased By Specific Media and Justin Timberlake [Updated]

News Corp. has reportedly sold social-media site MySpace to ad network Specific Media and its partner, pop star Justin Timberlake.

The Wall Street Journal says the sale was valued at $35 million in cash and stock, far below News Corp’s $100 million asking price. News Corp. will also retain a small stake in the site going forward.

MySpace was purchased by News Corp. in 2005 at the height of its popularity for $580 million, but has since seen its usage dwindle after the rise of Facebook. MySpace now has about 157 million active users, compared to Facebook’s 600 million.

Following the sale, Myspace CEO Mike Jones will be vacating his post though he plans to work with News Corp. and Specific Media to help the transition. Additionally, MySpace will begin laying off a significant number of its employees.

Timberlake, who recently played Facebook affiliate Sean Parker in The Social Network, will have an office at MySpace’s Beverly Hills headquarters as well as a small staff devoted to developing ideas for the site. Specific Media and Timberlake say plans for MySpace’s future will be unveiled in the next couple of months.

Specific Media was founded in 1999 by brothers Tim, Chris and Russell Vanderhook and assists marketers in buying web, mobile and TV ads. The company’s advertising network is now one of the country’s biggest, and since 2007 it has acquired digital advertising companies, an online video company, and an ad technology company.

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