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Time Inc. Buys Myspace

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It looks like we haven't seen the last of Myspace just yet. Time Inc. announced during its quarterly earnings report today that it will acquire Viant, the people-based advertising technology company, with the goal to tap into its first-party data.

Viant, formally known as Interactive Media Holdings, is the parent company of various properties including Specific Media, the advertising network that bought the once-popular social networking site Myspace for $35 million in 2011.

Long before Facebook ruled the Internet, Myspace was the largest social network back in the mid-2000s. It reached its peak with 75.9 million monthly unique vistitors after News Corp. purchased it for $580 million in 2008. Although the site has changed drastically since its early days, it has continued to stay afloat, regardless of its decrease in popularity.

The acquisition means that Time Inc. will be able to combine its subscribers with Viant's data, analytics and Advertising Cloud platform to create a database that will rival Facebook and Google as it aims to better target ads to its customers.

"Over a year ago we launched a people-based platform with the Viant Advertising Cloud. With over 1 billion global registered users connected to their households and devices, we knew our data and technology story was solid," Viant CEO Tim Vanderhook said in a statement. "The combination of Time Inc. and Viant is all about the marriage of first-party data and premium content."

The announcement that Time Inc. will buy Myspace and its parent company comes alongside the company's report that it has seen a drop in revenue for this quarter. For the three-month fourth quarter that ended Dec. 13, revenue decreased $18 million or 2 percent to $877 million compared with the same quarter the year before.

Advertising revenue decreased $12 million or 2 percent from the year-earlier quarter to $484 million, with print and other advertising revenue reported to have decreased $27 million or 7 percent from the year-earlier quarter to $382 million. Digital advertising revenue is reported to have increased $15 million or 17 percent in the fourth quarter from the year-earlier quarter to $102 million. This reflects growth in video and programmatic sales for the company.

"This acquisition is game changing for us," Time Inc. Chairman and CEO Joe Ripp said in a press release. "Marketers are selecting media partners that have either data-driven capabilities or premium content; we will be able to deliver both in a single platform, and will stand apart from those that offer just one or the other. In other words, we will be able to deliver advertisers' messages targeted to optimal audiences across all types of devices, along with the ability to measure ROI."

Details about how much Time Inc. will pay to own Viant aren't yet known.

Time Inc. is the parent company of Time, Fortune, People, Entertainment Weekly, Sports Illustrated and more, earning 150 million visitors monthly across its websites. It can now add Myspace to the list.

Source: Viant

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