MySpace has seen better days. And months. And years, for that matter. After eliminating "major redundancies" to the tune of about 500 positions, MySpace's company profile is beginning to resemble more and more their color scheme: black and blue all over.
Everyone is pointing the finger at Facebook, the White Whale of social media- and they're all correct. Facebook's success has overshadowed MySpace for the last two years, if not longer. It got to the point where CEO Mike Jones was forced to admit in November of 2010 that MySpace couldn't compete anymore, would be rebranding itself as a social media entertainment destination of sorts. For all of you keeping track, Yahoo pulled a similar maneuver in the past few years when it failed to stack up to Google in Search- they repositioned themselves as an entertainment news site. And furthermore, if anyone reading this is old enough to remember AOL when it didn't own like 23498 blogs, they did pretty much the same thing when their subscription service tanked (you know, when people realized they could just download an internet browser?).
Despite the repositioning efforts which netted the implacable MySpace 95 million unique users, its reported that the site went from 73 million to 63 million unique users in a four-week span between January and February.
I can imagine how that day went at MySpace HQ. Mike Jones was sitting at his desk, when he suddenly looked up, an expression of agony and anguish on his face, and said to his assistant: "I sense a great disturbance in our servers, as if 10 million voices cried out in frustration and confusion and suddenly peaced the @#$% out."
This is on top of a reported $100 million in losses from the first quarter of last year. News Corp, MySpace's parent company that purchased it in 2008 for $580 million, down from a $12 billion valuation in 2007. Something tells me that they're going to have to salvage this thing for parts. And by something, I mean a nameless senior executive who reportedly said the following:
To get [MySpace] back on track is going to require a massive investment - one which News Corporation it not prepared to make. It has many other priorities to put its money into. So instead, it needs to keep taking costs out of the business while it's still in its hands.
News Corp's CEO, Chase Carey, who once described this sad state of affairs as a "problem", evidently refused to put a timetable on the expected sale or recovery of the money-hemorrhaging website, saying:
I'm not going to break down [the number of] quarters. It's not years ... we need to deal with this with urgency.