Timberlake takes a slice of MySpace
Justin Timberlake apparently wasn't satisfied with just playing a social media impresario in the movies, so now he's becoming one in real life.
The pop star, who played Napster co-founder Sean Parker in The Social Network, a movie about Facebook, has joined Specific Media in buying its downtrodden rival, MySpace, from News Corp in a deal that closed on Wednesday.
Timberlake will have an office at MySpace's Beverly Hills headquarters and a staff of about a half dozen people working for him "around the clock" developing his ideas for the site, said Specific Media boss Tim Vanderhook.
The partners are set to unveil their plans for reviving the flagging site in a couple of months.
"When we met with Justin and we discussed what our strategy was, we hit a chord with him," Vanderhook said. "One of his passions is he really enjoys helping other artists and creating a community for people to really express themselves. I think we were blown away that we were able to get someone like Justin to be so excited about what we were doing."
The deal is for 35 million dollars (£22 million), mostly in Specific Media stock, according to a person familiar with the matter. That's a small fraction of the 580 million dollars (£360 million) that News Corp paid for the site six years ago.
With Timberlake's help, the buyers hope to revitalise MySpace and transform it into a destination for original shows, as well as bolster its already available video content and music.
Vanderhook said the revamp will include additional investment in technology and maintain the right to stream music through the joint venture it has with major recording companies, MySpace Music.