News Corp. is definitely signaling that the time has come to sell off MySpace.
During a question and answer session with the media after the release of its quarterly earnings report, News Corp. COO Chase Carey said of the company’s social network holding:
The new MySpace has been very well received by the market and we have some very encouraging metrics. But the plan to allow MySpace to reach it’s full potential may be best achieved under a new owner.
Mr. Carey went on to say that the company has already been approached by multiple interested parties, but would only identify them by saying that they have included both domestic and foreign entities.
While it seems a sale of the network would seem preferable as News Corp. has already fired 50 percent of the work force, and had to write off somewhere around $168 million – they don’t break it down by property, just by “digital division” – Carey did say they were also open to possible restructuring or bringing in an outside investor to work with them to advance the company, but it seemed the emphasis was on a sale.
News Corp. purchased MySpace in July 2005 for $580 million. Under its leadership, the site did become the number one social network in the world in June of 2006, but it was surpassed by rival Facebook in April 2008 and has continued to lose market share since that time. The company has had several rounds of layoffs of staff, with the largest round coming just last month when over half of its worldwide workforce was let go.
No timeline was given as for when we might hear any further information about potential buyers or investors.