MySpace founder interested in buying back beleaguered social network

MySpace cofounder Chris DeWolfe has given a strong hint that he fancies another crack at the social network he set up and wants to buy it back from News Corp.

In an article in Businessweek he refuses to deny a bid and says only that he can not talk about it.

“Myspace was a cultural phenomenon, but you can’t roll back to 2006. The world has changed. Companies have reinvented their brands in the consumer-products space or fashion, but I’ve never really seen that on the internet.

“Before I left Myspace two years ago, I was confident we could turn this ship around. I can’t talk about whether we have any interest in buying Myspace now—it’s a confidential process—but it’s the biggest property for sale at what, in this market, would be a somewhat reasonable price. You always care if there’s an asset that you feel is undervalued when you had a plan to develop it. From Day One, I wanted to leave the company on an upside swing. I think I achieved that to a certain degree, but when I left there was unfinished business,” he writes in BusinessWeek.

DeWolfe is, of course, right when he says MySpace was a “cultural phenomenon”, but that was then. Now it is an also ran and a shadow of its former self that is sliding towards social media irrelevance.

That irrelevance is underscored today with the launch of The Sunday Times Social List. It does not include MySpace even though they are owned, at least for now, by the same company. It instead sticks to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Foursquare.

News Corp has been reported to have spoken to several buyers as stories emerge that it is losing even its core music and games appeal and that advertisers are also abandoning it.

However, DeWolfe still clearly thinks that MySpace in some shape or form is salvageable. Reading what he has to say it suggests that he sees its future in social gaming. It is certainly a market where huge growth is taking place and where more is expected and it chimes nicely with his current venture MindJolt – a social gaming company.

Maybe he can pull it off and breathe some life back into MySpace. Before he can, however, he will have to agree a price with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which paid $580 for it back in 2005.

  • Tom

    Why on earth would he even consider buying it back? That’s just ludicrous!

    It has become nothing more than a slow-loading spam farm over the last few years.

    Their business model should have stayed focussed on the music industry – a place for musicians & fans.

    Of course, that’s just my 2 cents.