Justin Timberlake scores his own social network: a piece of Myspace
Justin Timberlake has climbed on board to help re-brand a just-sold Myspace. Perhaps playing Sean Parker in "The Social Network" resonated on a business level with the singer-actor -- or maybe he just couldn't resist a bargain?
"Justin is a tremendously bright guy who is really passionate about the opportunity for artists to build a community with fans," said Tim Vanderhook, co-founder and chief executive of online ad firm Specific Media, who told the Los Angeles Times he'd pursued Timberlake for Myspace because of his star power.
News Corp. on Wednesday offloaded Myspace, a milestone social-media website that predated Facebook, for $35 million to Specific Media, which shaved off an unspecified portion of the company for Timberlake. In contrast, Facebook is considering filing for a public offering this fall with a valuation to the tune of $100 billion.
The onetime boy-band phenom will have an office at Myspace and a staff of six, Vanderhook said.
"Art is inspired by people and vice versa, so there’s a natural social component to entertainment," Timberlake said in a statement. "I'm excited to help revitalize Myspace by using its social media platform to bring artists and fans together in one community."
This steps up the "SexyBack" crooner's position in the mogul game, adding to a portfolio that contains a tequila brand, several restaurants and the clothing line William Rast.
With his music apparently shelved at the moment and several movies in the can for release this year, the 30-year-old only recently basked in an empty calendar.
"Right now, I’m not in the mood to work,” he told Vanity Fair. "I want to not have a schedule. I want to go to the Dodgers game if I feel like it. ‘Hey, do you guys want to play basketball today? Cool, let’s do that.' I've never really given myself the opportunity to be spontaneous."
We'd count this Myspace venture as spontaneous. Enjoy getting back to work, Justin.
-- Matt Donnelly
Photo: Justin Timberlake attends the New York City premiere of "Bad Teacher." Credit: Jason Kempin / Getty Images