Myspace ties up with Panasonic for social TV venture

Justin Timberlake: introduces the Myspace venture
Justin Timberlake: introduces the Myspace venture

Myspace is looking to boost its fortunes with a new "social television" venture with Panasonic, bringing the music-led social networking service to the tech manufacturer's connected televisions.

Initially, the service will consist of music-focused channels, allowing users to access Myspace's library of 100,000 music videos and 42 million tracks, while interacting with their friends on the network, via the TV device.

Myspace said the service, which can be considered a "content discovery app", would be expanded beyond music to include movies, news and sports channels, but gave no timeline for this.

Myspace TV was announced yesterday at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Tim Vanderhook, chief executive of Myspace, said: "Myspace was the first successful social network because it allowed individuals to share their interests, listen to music, express their creativity and connect around the things they love."

"Historically, TV has been a shared experience, as people gathered together to watch their favourite programs. Our belief was that we could enhance the TV experience by increasing viewers’ ability to connect to both content and each other."

Justin Timberlake, who joined with Specific Media to buy the embattled social networking service from News Corporation for $35m in June last year, took to the stage at the show to introduce the service.

He said: "We're giving you the opportunity to connect your friends to your moments as they’re actually occurring. This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions, the television. And, we no longer have to crowd around the same one to experience it together."

The company said it intends to "return the diminishing social element" to television. It will be available on Panasonic’s Viera Connect Smart TVs in the first half of this year.

Myspace, which was founded in 2003 and bought by News Corp two years later, failed to keep pace with Facebook, which now boasts 800 million members, in the social media space.

Specific Media and Timberlake have been quiet on their plans for the social networking site since they emerged as unlikely new owners.

At the time Specific Media said it would be using the social networking site's infrastructure to deploy "socially-activated advertising campaigns", while Timberlake was to provide the strategic and creative direction for the company.

Follow Sarah Shearman on Twitter @Shearmans

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