It’s been a long time since MySpace held any real power in the music industry. Though the social media site once helped broker the careers of Arctic Monkeys and Lily Allen, the last few years have not been kind, leaving the site sitting to collect digital dust.

Problems with the former social media juggernaut have been widely noted, leading to its sale last July for $US 35 million. A paltry amount when you consider that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp bought the website for $US 580 million back in 2005. News shortly followed that its new owners, Specific Media – including a plucky Justin Timberlake – had ambitions to relaunch the site as a kind of online ‘talent quest.’

Despite further setbacks and delays late last year, including a vast haemorrhaging of users, new reports from Music Week suggest that Timberlake and co. are finally starting to gear up to the newly face-lifted MySpace up before the end of the year.

The news comes that Specific Media has been in talks with various ad agencies to begin a roll-out campaign for the revised website, shifting their focus to an ‘entertainment’ oriented service. One that would be relaunched to tackle the likes of Spotify and iTunes, rather than its old rival, Facebook.

This week – the online firm’s senior communications manager for Europe, Rikki Webster, told Music Week that the agency hunt was still in its “early days.” Explaining, “we’ve had a few exploratory conversations within the marketplace, but no formal pitch process is currently being undertaken.”

“MySpace will look to roll out consumer-facing activity towards the end of this year,” he continued, “at which time we’ll most likely undertake a formal pitch, but nothing is happening at this time.”

Though it was the most visited social networking site in the world between 2005 and early 2008, once Facebook arrived on the scene and asserted its vice-like grip on social media, MySpace struggled to revolutionise. Specific Media, and more specifically Justin Timberlake, believe that it needs to reconnect with “artists’ creativity.”

When he first purchased the site, Timberlake stated, “there’s a need for a place where fans can go to interact with their favourite entertainers, listen to music, watch videos, share and discover cool stuff and just connect. MySpace has the potential to be that place.”

In a new world where Facebook nearly made Bono a billionaire, and the success of the recently Australian-launched Spotify justifies a streaming chart in the UK – can MySpace really become relevant again?

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