On Music: Myspace Music head steps down

By Jim Hagerty
Staff Writer

As Myspace users move on, the site continues to be a footnote in the social media history, and company executives are seeing the writing on the wall.

Myspace Music President Courtney Holt stepped down last week, in what some say is a move by parent company News Corp. to sell the dying site. Holt will remain temporarily as adviser to Myspace and News Corp.

The news comes three months after Myspace announced a mashup with Facebook, which allows for profile integration and users to use Myspace features without going to the site.

While Holt’s move was announced in a memo by Myspace CEO Mike Jones obtained Friday, Feb. 25, the reported sale of the site has not been officially announced.

The buzz, however, centers on reported offers it may be receiving from other social networks. Myspace continues to be somewhat popular for its free music streaming service and platform for bands to connect with fans. The site is also ripe to become a hot gaming arena. Those features, insiders alluded to Friday makes Myspace marketable, especially to other social media sites without established features.

Potential takers…

Facebook, a no-brainer, emerges a possible front-runner. Although Facebook made about $400 million in profits last year, Mark Zuckerberg may not want to venture too far from the fold—even if he can pick up a gasping Myspace for a song. Sites like Twitter and the made-for-mobile Foursquare could help their users integrate beefed-up multimedia apps by making an offer.

It’s no secret Myspace is no longer the social media leader. News Corp. COO Chase Casey said last fall a 2005 price of $585 million had a couple dozen venture capitalists interested in talks. Today, it may be that Casey may just want to cut some fat.

From the March 2-8, 2011, issue

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