MySpace Company Brief (Archived Report)

PDF version of this report
You must have Adobe Acrobat reader to view, save, or print PDF files. The reader
is available for free

Archived Report:
Company Brief

by Michael Gariffo

Docid: 00021985

Publication Date: 1401

Report Type: VENDOR


Once the king of all social networking sites, MySpace has since fallen from
that perch and struggled to find its identity. The current iteration of MySpace
takes the form of a social media discovery engine, combining aspects of its
former social networking heritage with a strong library of streaming music and
video content. 

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

[return to top of this report]

Name: MySpace
8391 Beverly Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 388-0892
Type of Vendor: Social Networking Site
Founded: 2003
Service Areas: Global
Stock Symbol: is a subsidiary of Specific Media, and is
not publicly listed.

Faulkner Reports
Company Brief


[return to top of this report]

Although MySpace’s corporate history is somewhat controversial, it is known that
company was founded by Chris DeWolfe and Brad Greenspan. The two men, who were
working for email provider eUniverse at the time, realized that they could
leverage the company’s database of users to launch a Web site based on the
features of the established social networking site Friendster. 1

It was not until after the launch of MySpace in 2003, and the departure of
Brad Greenspan, that the site’s public face, Tom Andersen, came into the
picture. Andersen, a long time associate of Chris DeWolfe, was chosen as an age
appropriate exemplar for the site’s intended demographic. The company then
decided to promote the fictional idea that Tom Andersen himself had founded
MySpace as a "garage" startup company. 

Figure 1. MySpace Social
Networking Home Page

Figure 1. MySpace Social Networking Home Page

Source: MySpace

Thanks to the ready-made customer base provided by eUniverse and free profiles, the site’s user base grew exponentially. MySpace quickly became a destination for individuals looking for the connections a social networking site can provide,
businesses taking advantage of the free promotional opportunities, and
entertainment acts looking to connect with a fan base. 

The Web site’s early success culminated in the 2005 purchase of MySpace by News Corp. for $580 million. At the time of purchase, MySpace
was the undisputed global leader for social networking sites and the 5th most
visited Web site within the US. 2

MySpace continued to grow following its News Corp. acquisition. The
site added to its initial services with several additional media offerings which allowed garage bands and established stars alike to
upload streaming music and videos to promote themselves. This move would come to be
extremely important later when MySpace leveraged these assets to relaunch as a media discovery destination. 

Figure 2. MySpace

Figure 2. MySpace Videos Page

Source: MySpace

By 2009, MySpace had fallen off its perch as leader of the social
networks. It retained a little more than 19% of the market share, while
Facebook accounted for about 45% of social network visits.3 In
response to this, MySpace announced plans to relaunch itself as a "social
entertainment" site. Specifically, the network’s new goal would be to
provide users with methods of discovering new entertainment media. Whether by
looking at the favorite artists of their friends or the most popular movies
among all users, the new MySpace would be, first and foremost, a place for
users to connect with media, while connecting to other users would
remain as a close

Figure 3. MySpace Social
Entertainment Page

Figure 3. MySpace Social Entertainment Page

Source: MySpace

Despite the seemingly difficult road ahead, there were still
interested buyers when News Corp. officially put MySpace on the market in 2011, albeit at
a substantially discounted price. When the bidding was finished Specific Media
walked away with the aging social network. Interestingly, ownership of MySpace
after the acquisition passed to entertainment personality Justin Timberlake.
Although the singer/actor had essentially no business experience, it should be
remembered that MySpace is now for all intents and purposes an entertainment
company, making it, perhaps, a wise decision to place an entertainer at its

Since it’s rebirth and transfer of
ownership, MySpace has continued to seek out entertainment partnerships, having
launched a music promotion with Chevrolet and teaming with Jimmy Kimmel to livestream video content. Although MySpace has also attempted to keep up with modern
trends by releasing a mobile-specific platform and apps for various mobile
operating systems, the company remains a relatively small player in the social
networking and online media discovery arenas. 

Key Executives

[return to top of this report]

CEO: Tim Vanderhook

COO: Chris Vanderhook

Co-Founder and COO: Josh Berman

Co-Owner: Justin Timberlake

CTO: Fabrizio Blanco

CFO: Mark Rosenbaum

Chief Privacy Officer (CPO): Jennifer Mardosz

Major Products

[return to top of this report]

MySpace’s business model still focuses on using social
media discovery and media consumption to drive online ad exposures. The site
includes ads provided by multiple advertising networks, including Google’s
AdSense, AdChoice, and others. In order to bring in users for the purpose of
increasing ad value, MySpace currently offers a huge selection of music and

The site’s music catalog of more
than 53 million tracks includes full songs from many of the current top 40
artists in a wide variety of genres. MySpace also retains its tradition of
exposing little-known or unsigned acts to the world, with a high prevalence of
up-and-coming and obscure artists. In addition to its library of music files,
MySpace also offers a catalog of thousands of music videos as
well as news pieces, interviews with artists, movie trailers, and other
entertainment content. All of the site’s offerings are organized by their
popularity, and all can be easily shared with other MySpace users or posted to
Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks thanks to MySpace’s sharing capabilities. 

MySpace also maintains a small presence outside of the
traditional World Wide Web, with its MySpace TV app. The app first appeared on a
recent lineup of Panasonic Internet-connected televisions, and includes access
to MySpace’s library of music and videos as well as a social networking aspect
which lets users chat, rate the current show they are watching, and share their
views on any television programming with other MySpace users.4 

Lastly, MySpace does still offer somewhat of a traditional
social networking experience. Users are still able to create and maintain a
profile page where their interests and activities are displayed. However, even this
aspect of the site primarily serves as a vehicle to drive increased media
discovery and consumption, subsequently increasing ad exposures. 

Major Competitors

[return to top of this report]

Although MySpace has primarily
moved away from its social networking roots, the company must still combat the
constant draw of similar media discovery capabilities available on both
traditional social networks such as Facebook, as well as the media consumption
and discovery offered by various mobile and Web-based applications such as
Pandora or Spotify.

Recent Activity

[return to top of this report]

In January 2012, MySpace announced its partnership with Panasonic
to launch MySpace TV on an upcoming lineup of Internet-connected
televisions. The app allows for media streaming, as well as dialogue with
other MySpace users about whatever the viewer is currently watching or has
recently watched. 

In February of 2012, MySpace named Roger Mincheff as the new President of
MySpace Entertainment. Mincheff joined the company from Fox Filmed
Entertainment, where he served as Senior Vice President of Branded

In May of 2012 MySpace settled a charge from the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) that it misled millions of users about how it planned to share
their information with advertisers. Although the precise details of the
settlement were not disclosed, the site did note that it has agreed to implement
a "comprehensive privacy program" as part of the agreement. 

As of January, 2013, the site had risen to fifth among all social networks, up
from eighth in the previous year. Although this still does not
bring the site back to even its 2011 slot as the third most popular social
networking site, it does actually place it one spot ahead of Google+, a site
which was at least considered as a serious competitor to Facebook.5

In June 2013, MySpace launched a revamped platform with
a unified aesthetic for its desktop and mobile Web sites and apps. 

As of January 2014, MySpace’s
star appears to once again be falling. Since the last update, it has dropped to
11th among all social networks, while Google+ has risen to fourth place.6


About the Author

[return to top of this report]

Michael Gariffo is an editor for Faulkner
Information Services. He tracks and writes about enterprise software
and the IT services sector, as well as telecommunications and data networking.

[return to top of this report]