The ‘original’ social network MySpace is being re-branded as a music streaming website set to compete with Spotify and Pandora, leaked documents show.
The former Facebook rival is trying to raise $50 million to finance next year’s relaunch hoping to attract investors with a new design and backing from superstar Justin Timberlake.
A presentation by Interactive Media Holdings, which bought MySpace from Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp in 2011, reveal the plans to move focus from social network to music.
The $35 million purchase, a mere six percent of the original selling price, was partially funded by outside investors, including superstar Justin Timberlake.
The sale in June 2011 was a gigantic loss for Murdoch’s NewsCorp, which bough MySpace for $580 million in 2005.
At the time of the acquisition, musician-turned-actor Timberlake said there was a ‘need for a place where fans could interact with their favorite entertainers’.
While many artists and actors use Twitter to communicate with their fans, Timberlake said users will be drawn to MySpace as it also offers the opportunity to ‘listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect.’
Timberlake added: ‘Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalise MySpace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.’
Despite their superstar backer, the new owners Interactive Media Holdings have yet to turn a real profit for MySpace.
Although MySpace has seen an increase in traffic by 36 percent since December 2011, it only generated a mere $15 million in revenues this year.
The leaked presentation is optimistic about the future, predicting that the $50 million can turn the MySpace into a Spotify killer despite recording a $43 million loss in 2012.
The company intends to spend $10 million on advertisement alone and plan to launch a mobile phone app where users can subscribe to their music streaming services, according to the presentation leaked to Business Insider.
The presentation brags about MySpace’s 42 million songs on offer – an advantage on both Spotify and Pandora which has catalogues of 15 million and 800,000 respectively – however 27 million of these are from unsigned artists.
Pitching this as a business advantage thanks to the low cost, Interactive Media Holdings also claim to have direct relationship with 5 million artists, yet fails to reveal how many of these are signed to a record label.
Preston Waters | Elite.