Skip to main content

Time Inc. now owns MySpace, more or less by accident

Time Inc. now owns MySpace, more or less by accident

/

The aging media giant got the faded social network as scraps in an ad tech deal

Share this story

MySpace was once seen as the king of social media, a heavyweight with upstarts like Facebook nipping at its heels. But after being purchased by Rupert Murdoch, the site took a tailspin. Since then Justin Timberlake’s made an attempt to revive the service. Now, it’s Time Inc. that is aiming to resurrect MySpace — but not without just cause.

The relentless decline of the print industry is no secret, and the 94-year-old publishing house is far from immune. Despite being a top player in the media industry, Time Inc. swung from a large profit in 2014 to a huge $881 million loss this year. Even though the company attributed the bulk of the loss to its relocation from the Time & Life Building in New York — its headquarters since 1959 — to Lower Manhattan, there was also a 6.6 percent decline year over year in print and other ad sales.

MySpace hasn't made much news of late, but it can boost the bottom line for Time Inc. Believe it or not, the site still sees 50 million visitors every month. And one division in Time Inc. that saw real growth in revenue was digital ads. Home to brands like Time, People, Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly, Time Inc. wants to monetize its audience more effectively — the end goal is to convert eyeballs to moneybags. MySpace just happens to be a piece of the ad-tech colossus called Viant.

"People based" advertising

Founded in 1999, Viant holds the reins for several leading digital ad technology and media companies including Specific Media, Vindico, and Xumo. It touts itself as "one of the largest user databases, powering a comprehensive suite of advertising applications available on-demand, in the cloud."

"This acquisition is game changing for us," said Time Inc. chairman and CEO Joe Ripp. "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."

Forget cookies. Marketers want to target registered accounts.

Viant is a "people-based" advertising technology company, a particularly odious bit of corporate speak that means it relies on a database of registered users to target ads, as opposed to cookies stored in your web browser that record your habits and preferences. A family of five might all use the same browser, for example, but are less likely to spend time logged into one another's registered accounts. Viant says it has accumulated a database of 1.2 billion registered accounts.

Will Time Inc. spend any time and money spiffing up MySpace for one more run at relevance in the world of social networking? Don’t get your hopes up. But hey, if you still use MySpace and enjoy pursuing People magazine online, more relevant ads are headed your way.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Dimorphos didn’t even see it coming

R
Twitter
Richard LawlerTwo hours ago
A direct strike at 14,000 mph.

The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) scored a hit on the asteroid Dimorphos, but as Mary Beth Griggs explains, the real science work is just beginning.

Now planetary scientists will wait to see how the impact changed the asteroid’s orbit, and to download pictures from DART’s LICIACube satellite which had a front-row seat to the crash.


M
The Verge
We’re about an hour away from a space crash.

At 7:14PM ET, a NASA spacecraft is going to smash into an asteroid! Coverage of the collision — called the Double Asteroid Redirection Test — is now live.


E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
There’s a surprise in the sky tonight.

Jupiter will be about 367 million miles away from Earth this evening. While that may seem like a long way, it’s the closest it’s been to our home planet since 1963.

During this time, Jupiter will be visible to the naked eye (but binoculars can help). You can check where and when you can get a glimpse of the gas giant from this website.


Asian America learns how to hit back

The desperate, confused, righteous campaign to stop Asian hate

Esther WangSep 26
E
Twitter
Emma RothSep 26
Missing classic Mario?

One fan, who goes by the name Metroid Mike 64 on Twitter, just built a full-on 2D Mario game inside Super Mario Maker 2 complete with 40 levels and eight worlds.

Looking at the gameplay shared on Twitter is enough to make me want to break out my SNES, or at least buy Super Mario Maker 2 so I can play this epic retro revamp.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
The US might still force TikTok into a data security deal with Oracle.

The New York Times says the White House is still working on TikTok’s Trump-era data security deal, which has been in a weird limbo for nearly two years now. The terms are basically the same: Oracle plays babysitter but the app doesn’t get banned. Maybe it will happen now, though?


R
Youtube
Richard LawlerSep 26
Don’t miss this dive into Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion Pinocchio flick.

Andrew Webster and Charles Pulliam-Moore covered Netflix’s Tudum reveals (yes, it’s going to keep using that brand name) over the weekend as the streamer showed off things that haven’t been canceled yet.

Beyond The Way of the Househusband season two news and timing information about two The Witcher projects, you should make time for this incredible behind-the-scenes video showing the process of making Pinocchio.


R
External Link
Russell BrandomSep 26
Edward Snowden has been granted Russian citizenship.

The NSA whistleblower has been living in Russia for the 9 years — first as a refugee, then on a series of temporary residency permits. He applied for Russian citizenship in November 2020, but has said he won’t renounce his status as a U.S. citizen.


E
External Link
Emma RothSep 26
Netflix’s gaming bet gets even bigger.

Even though fewer than one percent of Netflix subscribers have tried its mobile games, Netflix just opened up another studio in Finland after acquiring the Helsinki-based Next Games earlier this year.

The former vice president of Zynga Games, Marko Lastikka, will serve as the studio director. His track record includes working on SimCity BuildIt for EA and FarmVille 3.


A
External Link
Vietnam’s EV aspirant is giving big Potemkin village vibes

Idle equipment, absent workers, deserted villages, an empty swimming pool. VinFast is Vietnam’s answer to Tesla, with the goal of making 1 million EVs in the next 5-6 years to sell to customers US, Canada and Europe. With these lofty goals, the company invited a bunch of social media influencers, as well as some auto journalists, on a “a four-day, multicity extravaganza” that seemed more weird than convincing, according to Bloomberg.


J
James VincentSep 26
Today, 39 years ago, the world didn’t end.

And it’s thanks to one man: Stanislav Petrov, a USSR military officer who, on September 26th, 1983, took the decision not to launch a retaliatory nuclear attack against the US. Petrov correctly guessed that satellite readings showing inbound nukes were faulty, and so likely saved the world from nuclear war. As journalist Tom Chivers put it on Twitter, “Happy Stanislav Petrov Day to those who celebrate!” Read more about Petrov’s life here.


Soviet Colonel who prevented 1983 nuclear response
Photo by Scott Peterson/Getty Images
J
The Verge
James VincentSep 26
Deepfakes were made for Disney.

You might have seen the news this weekend that the voice of James Earl Jones is being cloned using AI so his performance as Darth Vader in Star Wars can live on forever.

Reading the story, it struck me how perfect deepfakes are for Disney — a company that profits from original characters, fans' nostalgia, and an uncanny ability to twist copyright law to its liking. And now, with deepfakes, Disney’s most iconic performances will live on forever, ensuring the magic never dies.


E
External Link
Hurricane Fiona ratcheted up tensions about crypto bros in Puerto Rico.

“An official emergency has been declared, which means in the tax program, your physical presence time is suspended,” a crypto investor posted on TikTok. “So I am headed out of the island.” Perhaps predictably, locals are furious.


R
The Verge
Richard LawlerSep 26
Teen hacking suspect linked to GTA 6 leak and Uber security breach charged in London.

City of London police tweeted Saturday that the teenager arrested on suspicion of hacking has been charged with “two counts of breach of bail conditions and two counts of computer misuse.”

They haven’t confirmed any connection with the GTA 6 leak or Uber hack, but the details line up with those incidents, as well as a suspect arrested this spring for the Lapsus$ breaches.