When news broke Justin Timberlake had taken an ownership stake in MySpace, people thought it was a joke. The internet exploded with snide comments alluding to Justin’s role as former Facebook higher-up Sean Parker in The Social Network. And Folks on Twitter couldn’t resist making wisecracks about the deal.
"This just in: Justin Timberlake also buys Blockbuster Media and a rotary phone factory. What does he see that we don't!?! #myspace," wrote user @donovanwoods.
@TheFakeCNN chimed in, “Justin Timberlake part of group acquiring MySpace. Proving once again that some people have more money than they know what to do with.”
In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess to being a huge Justin Timberlake fan. Lets face it, the man is talented. It seems everything he touches turns to gold. So while many may call MySpace a sinking ship, with JT manning the helm, I wouldn't count it out just yet.
All kidding aside, Justin’s decision to invest big in what is now considered the dinosaur of social media sites might just turn out to be the most genius move ever. Justin said, “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.” He may be on to something. The reality is – Twitter, Linked-In, and even Facebook are not that friendly for musicians or music lovers. There are still millions of social networkers who love music and are looking for the best possible interaction with it. No one seems to own the music social space, which means it is entirely up for grabs.
So can Mr. Sexxyback “rebuild and reinvigorate” MySpace? Is there room for another successful social networking site? Keep in mind Google + is now in the mix (and with music on the mind.) Plus, there’s Facebook’s rumored music service, which many are speculating will be announced soon.
Likeable and popular as he is, the pop star/dancer/actor – no matter how hilarious he may be on Saturday Night live – may not be able to dig MySpace out of its hole. But it is clear that honing in on the music industry is the right strategy because there does seem to be an actual need in the social media space for new music to be discovered and shared. So however JT’s MSpace Gambit turns out, we should give kudos for him for – if nothing else – trying to think “outside the box.”
Contributed by Andrea LePain. Follow her @alepain