Myspace sold to ad agency for $35 million

by Kevin Gilmartin

It’s been on the cards for a long time. Rumours over who was buying it have been flying for months, and yesterday, finally, it was confirmed that Myspace sold for $35 million.

$35 million – that’s an utterly staggering $545 million LESS than Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation paid for it back in 2006. Many people on the Twittersphere have been asking who’d be crazy enough pay $35 million for a dead and outdated social network.

The answer to that is an online ad agency called Specific Media – and they may not be all that crazy.

Once valued at $12 billion, Myspace was the vanguard of social networking, claiming 300 million registered users. Whilst these days it may be something of a Forlorn Hope, rather than a vanguard, most of those 300 million users’ details are still floating around on Myspace’s servers along with their interests, posts and contact details. If you were an online ad agency, what would you pay to get hold of 300 million users worth of research?

Let me save you the math. Specific Media probably aren’t actually interested in the Myspace platform, they haven’t gone into this thinking “$35 million for Myspace? Done deal!“. They’ve most likely gone in to this thinking “$35 million for a database of 300 million users, worldwide, all sharing their lives and likes? That’s only $0.11 per person including email addresses! Done deal!”

This is all pure speculation of course, but come on…$35 million? For Myspace? Really? Let’s not kid ourselves.

Even with Justin Timberlake on board as an investor and poster-boy, that’s a hell of a lot of cash for a dead social network but not so much for a 300 million-strong database of consumers. Facebook’s user base is more than double the size, estimated at around 700 million users. Doubling up, do you think they’d sell their database for just $70 million? Not a chance.

I’d say it’s something of a cautionary tale for anyone signing up to any social platform. To an ad-targetting firm that database is a seriously valuable asset. If the social company is going under your data can – and probably will – be sold on.

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