February 16, 2016

Time Inc. still uses MySpace?

Time Inc. will now own once prominent social media giant MySpace.

Time Inc., a 94-year-old publishing giant, recently relocated from its offices in the iconic Time & Life Building to lower Manhattan. The company reported that its move represented the majority of its $881 million loss in profit last year, though its print and advertising sales saw a 6.6 percent decrease, which could be indicative of a greater industry decline.

Additionally, the legendary, yet now forgotten pioneer in social media, MySpace, has experienced tough times over the past decade. Since its 2005 acquisition by Rupert Murdoch for $580 million, Entertainment Weekly's Lanford Beard wrote that Murdoch sold the failing networking website to Specific Media, an ad-targeting firm, for $35 million in 2011. Despite its decline, the website underwent a massive redesign in 2013 and surprisingly now has around 50 million visitors a month.

Now in an interesting twist of fate, The Guardian's Sam Thielman reported that Time Inc. will purchase Viant Technology, an influential online advertising parent company that oversees Specific Media, the current owner of MySpace. According to Viant, it is "one of the largest user databases, powering a comprehensive suite of advertising applications available on-demand, in the cloud."

The Verge's Ananya Bhattacharya wrote that Time Inc. expects to benefit from Viant's "people-based" advertising approach that differs from other target advertising approach. Viant depends on its database of 1.2 billion registered users to uniquely target its advertisements.

Time Inc. owns widely read publications, such as Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated, that will benefit from the combination of quality editorial and target advisement. The publisher did not disclose the exact conditions and monetary amount of the acquisition. Industry analysts speculate how the addition of MySpace to Time Inc.'s ranks will affect its future success.

"Time Inc. is the leading content company and the preferred destination for people who crave storytelling that is genuine, compelling and impossible to forget. Mobility and social media are allowing us to reach larger audiences than ever before," Time Inc. Chairman and CEO Joe Ripp explained in a company press release. "With the acquisition of Viant, we will build on our ability to more effectively target consumers, thanks to new technology, which also presents more attractive opportunities for meaningful emotional engagements with current and future audiences. In this world, trusted brands, quality content and deeply engaged audiences will win."

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