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Time acquires Myspace, creates 2004's most fearsome media giant

Social networking has-been is Joe Ripp's problem now

Time Inc. said it has acquired what's left of social networking ghost town Myspace.

The media giant will take on ownership of Myspace as part of a larger acquisition of parent company Viant, an advertising and data analytic firm. Viant acquired Myspace from News Corp in 2011.

Time said that it plans to integrate Viant into its own advertising operation, in the process using customer data from Myspace and other Viant properties to help shift ads on its websites. Viant's Advertising Cloud service boasts that it has data for sale on 1.2 billion people.

"Marketers are selecting media partners that have either data-driven capabilities or premium content; we will be able to deliver both in a single platform, and will stand apart from those that offer just one or the other," Time CEO Joe Ripp said of the deal.

"In other words, we will be able to deliver advertisers' messages targeted to optimal audiences across all types of devices, along with the ability to measure ROI."

Time did not say how much it paid for Viant, whose other properties include Specific Media, Vindico, and Xumo.

Once the dominant social networking site, Myspace peaked around the middle of the last decade, famously selling to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for $580m. Shortly thereafter, however, Facebook rose to power and users began to abandon their Myspace pages in favor of Mark Zuckerberg's upstart site.

By 2011, Myspace was refashioning itself as a music site when News Corp put it up for sale with a $20m asking price. Viant purchased the site and has since made a few attempts to relaunch Myspace and remind users they still have profiles and pictures on the forgotten social network.

Time Inc., meanwhile, has been on its own quest to re-invent itself as a digital publisher following a 2014 spin-off from parent company Time-Warner – itself no stranger to disastrous mergers, having tied up with AOL in an infamous $164bn deal back in 2001. ®

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