Justin Timberlake Takes Stake in MySpace

Justin Timberlake - 2010
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Life imitates art for "The Social Network" star who will help new owner Specific Media develop the company's future strategy and creative direction.

NEW YORK - Justin Timberlake is taking a minority stake in MySpace after its acquisition by online advertising network Specific Media and will help the company develop its new strategy and creative direction.

Timberlake had a key role in Oscar-nominated The Social Network about Facebook and its founders and is now taking a lead role in the future of MySpace, which has seen its user numbers decline amid competition from Facebook, which has been the dominant social network.

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Under its new owner, which finalized an acquisition for $35 million on Wednesday, MySpace is expected to focus on music. It has long been a popular way for music talent to present its work online and drive fans to concerts and the like.

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“There’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favorite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. Myspace has the potential to be that place,” said Timberlake in a statement. “Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment. I’m excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community.”

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It is not clear what size ownership stake Timberlake, an actor and Grammy-winning recording artist, will have in the company, but a Specific representative said he paid for it. News Corp. will retain a piece of the company as part of its sale to Specific.

Timberlake will also have a title at MySpace, but the exact is yet to be determined, a representative said. The strategy and vision for MySpace will be unveiled at a press conference later this summer, according to Specific.

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Said Specific CEO Tim Vanderhook: "We look forward to partnering with someone as talented as Justin Timberlake who will lead the business strategy with his creative ideas and vision for transforming MySpace." He added that he is looking forward to what he called "the next chapter of digital media."
Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai