Specific Media is a successful ad platform—why on earth would it want to get involved in the money-losing sinkhole that is MySpace?
That's exactly the question I asked SpecificMedia's CEO Tim Vanderhook on CNBC today. He told me he has grand plans for MySpace—to reinvent the product, building a new brand and turning MySpace into a celebrity-driven entertainment destination.
So why does Vanderhook think he can succeed when News Corp failed so spectacularly? Simple —he's betting big on the star power and creativity of Justin Timberlake.
The plan is to create a destination for celebrity-driven content and communication that would elevate MySpace's association with entertainment to another level.
Who's the competition? Everyone from Twitter to FunnyorDie.com to companies like Buzz-Media, which run websites for celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Katie Perry.
Vanderhook told me he attributes Twitter's popularity largely to celebrities' draw, but he says the problem with Twitter is that it doesn't have a destination where it can drive consumers, and post ads.
Vanderhook said stars like Timberlake are dying for an outlet to post original content online and fans are hungry for a destination to find all that content straight from their favorite celebs.
Despite MySpace's remarkable failure in contrast to Facebook, Vanderhook refuses to consider it over. He sees the value of wide reach for his ad platform, and now he values MySpace's reach—it still attracts 70 million users.
We'll see what kind of other stars Timberlake draws and what that can do to boost the site.
We're eagerly awaiting to hear the plan for the new MySpace, which Vanderhook says will come in about two months. In the meantime, we'll see if MySpace's numbers continue to fall off a cliff, as they have in the U.S. in particular.
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