MySpace in agency talks ahead of brand relaunch

The once-leading social media site MySpace has held talks with agencies as it prepares for a brand relaunch towards the end of the year.

Refresh: MySpace has seen a decline in visitors in recent years
Refresh: MySpace has seen a decline in visitors in recent years

The move follows the purchase of the music-focused website by Specific Media - bought alongside pop star Justin Timberlake - last June for a sum believed to be around $35m (£21.7m).

While no formal pitch process has been launched, Specific Media has held a number of exploratory conversations with agencies, with a view to beginning a formal pitch process towards the end of the year.

Specific Media's senior comms manager for Europe Rikki Webster told PRWeek that the agency hunt was still in its 'early days'.

'We've had a few exploratory conversations within the marketplace, but no formal pitch process is currently being undertaken.'

He added: 'MySpace will look to roll out consumer-facing activity towards the end of this year, at which time we'll most likely undertake a formal pitch, but nothing is happening at this time.'

MySpace was the most visited social networking site in the world between 2005 and early 2008, and in June 2006 surpassed Google as the most visited website in the US. It was also credited with launching the careers of pop stars such as Lily Allen.

However, in the years following the purchase of the site by News Corp for $580m (£360m) in 2005, it has seen a major decline in visitors. News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has since labelled the purchase a mistake.

In recent years the brand has looked to reposition itself away from pure social media and towards a focus on entertainment, and Timberlake is understood to be keen to promote the site's involvement in artists' creativity.

In a PRWeek/OnePoll Reputation Survey last week looking at privacy and social media, 3.5 per cent of those asked said they used MySpace at least once a week - compared with 54 per cent who used Facebook.

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