Business News Deals Digital Media

Time Inc buys MySpace (somewhat inadvertently)

By | Published on Friday 12 February 2016


NME publisher Time Inc has bought the company that ended up owning MySpace. Why? Data, man. It’s all about the data.

You all remember MySpace, right? We used to have a column dedicated to a different MySpace profile each day. Imagine that! They were crazy times. Then Rupert Murdoch bought MySpace. Then MySpace became a streaming music service. Then MySpace died. Then MySpace got sold. Then Justin Timberlake came in to rescue it all and make MySpace top dog all over again. Then Justin Timberlake failed to rescue it all and make MySpace top dog all over again. Then everyone forgot about MySpace. Until I reminded you, just there.

The US side of Time Inc has bought up Viant, a group of companies that includes advertising firm Specific Media. And that’s the ad agency that bought MySpace for $35 million in 2011, with bold plans to return the site to its former glory in a social media world by then dominated by Facebook and Twitter. Mainly by transforming it into a social network that revolved around music. Because that’s a winning formula that never fails. Apart for that time when, well, always.

For its part, Time Inc is interested in the consumer data owned by the wider Viant business, and how that can be mashed together with its magazines’ websites to create data-driven, platform-agnostic, content-rich, consumer-engaging, traction-templates that foster and facilitate meaningful brand activations through multiple touch-points, while enhancing the overall user-experience through an analytics-rich employment of content-nodules that deliver brand-messaging skewed to the targeted-demographical-segment of the client’s specific top-line product-fulfilment agenda. Or something like that. You know, so people can sell you shit.

And yes, in case you wondered, this deal really is a “game changer”. Because Time Inc CEO Joe Ripp said so. “Marketers are selecting media partners that have either data-driven capabilities or premium content”, he added. “We will be able to deliver both in a single platform, and will stand apart from those that offer just one or the other”.

Or in the words of Viant boss and Timberlake fan Tim Vanderhook: “The combination of Time Inc and Viant is all about the marriage of first party data and premium content”.

Ain’t that the truth. As for the MySpace angle, Tom was unavailable for comment.