Bringing MySpace back: Justin Timberlake, partners introduce revamped site with musical focus

CINCINNATI - He brought sexy back, so if anyone could revive MySpace, it’s Justin Timberlake.

On Wednesday at noon, Timberlake tweeted to introduce the “new MySpace,” of which he is now a co-owner. Timberlake invested in the site , which shifted its focus to the musical arena, in 2011. Once worth about $580 million, Timberlake and partners Chris and Tim Vanderhook reportedly acquired the site for $35 million.

The mission of the new MySpace? Simply bringing artists closer to their fans. It’s already the home of big names like Pharrell Williams, Mac Miller, Ciara and Sky Ferreira. The once-dominant social platform is even adding the mobile experience fans crave through the introduction of their new MySpace app for iPhone.

And, because it’s all about the music, MySpace has launched its own radio feature to rival Pandora and iTunes Radio: My Radio. Unlike algorithm-based stations, this puts users--including the artists themselves--in the driver's seat and lets them build and share radio stations.

MySpace was once the top social media network, but when Facebook came along tens of millions of users jumped ship. Rupert Murdoch and News Corp paid $580 million in 2005 for the then fast-growing network, but couldn't find the right formula to keep the site at the top of the social media heap.

"When we bought the company, it was not socially acceptable to say you visited Myspace," said Tim Vanderhook in a FastCompany.com article. "That's shocking from a brand perspective."

Social media experts may have discounted MySpace when Facebook grew to dominance, but keep your eyes and ears open as MySpace gets its reboot.

Taking a chance and giving MySpace another try? I just set up a new account, and I’d love to connect with you! Follow me www.myspace.com/jennyfromthebak . And as always, let’s keep the conversation going on Twitter , @jennyfromthebak.

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