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Myspace announces Myspace TV

January 9, 2012 |  3:45 pm

Justin-timberlake
Myspace is getting social on a whole new platform.

The embattled social network, which has seen the continued erosion of its user base, announced at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it will attempt to find new audiences with the launch this year of Myspace TV.

Consumers who buy the next generation of Panasonic Viera Internet-connected television sets will be able to use a new Myspace TV application to chat about a basketball game or any other show they're watching, and to invite friends to join them in a virtual viewing party.

"It's a traditional TV service. What we've done is added a social layer on top," Myspace CEO Tim Vanderhook said.

Myspace seeks to take advantage of a situation Nielsen documented in its Consumer Usage Report: that 70% of women and 60% of men are distracted multi-taskers, checking their email or surfing the Web while they watch TV.

Myspace seeks to harness the second screen in the living room -- be it laptop, tablet or smartphone -- to create a conversation around the TV program.

"We're not trying to change TV, we're trying to make TV better," Myspace Executive Vice President Marcus Liassides said. "TV has always been social. We're making a simple way of doing that in a connected world."

The bigger question is whether Myspace will be able to draw a crowd to its new social TV application. The most recent figures from online measurement firm comScore show that Myspace has lost some 9.4 million users since June, when online ad firm Specific Media acquired the site from News Corp.  It now has approximately 24 million monthly users, according to comScore.

Vanderhook said he's focused not on audience numbers, but rather on building compelling user experiences. "This is a great product," he said. "I think it is big enough to drive new consumer adoption and a lot of interest in Myspace."

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-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Justin Timberlake is an investor in Myspace. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

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