Media Lifeline: MySpace

Surviving the overcrowded waters of social networks is tough but, after six interesting years, MySpace is still afloat.

August 2003: A group of eUniverse managers, including Brad Greenspan, Chris DeWolfe, Josh Berman and Tom Anderson, set up a rival to the pioneering social networking site Friendster. Their baby, called MySpace, becomes popular with music fans and soon eclipses Friendster, which turns to Asian markets in search of audience growth.

July 2005: Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation pays $580 million for Intermix Media, the parent of As the deal goes through, it is the fifth most popular portal in the US, accounting for 8 per cent of all internet ads.

August 2006: And continued commercial growth seems assured when it signs an advertising deal with Google. The search advertising giant will provide text-based ads and keyword targeted ads, and will oversee display advertising sold through third parties on Fox Media's network, guaranteeing revenues of $900 million - providing web traffic targets between 2007 and 2010 are met.

July 2008: The evolution of MySpace had been accelerating through 2007 with the launch of video-sharing services and branded channels such as MySpaceCelebrity, MySpaceTV and the Impact Channel. But now that social networking is no longer the flavour of the month, there are rumours that MySpace is seeking a merger with Yahoo!. But News Corp moves quickly to issue a denial.

April 2009: Following the appointment of Jonathan Miller as News Corp's chief digital officer, the MySpace founder and chief executive, DeWolfe, steps down. He is succeeded by Owen Van Natta, the former chief executive of Facebook.

Fast forward ...

January 2010: But DeWolfe has the last laugh. Having joined Yahoo!, he holds out for - and gets - the job of the chief digital officer of a new colossus created by the merger of Yahoo! and News Corp. He announces that he hopes to find a new role within the organisation for Miller. Meanwhile, the deal puts MySpace on an even firmer footing. Facebook continues to grow faster - but MySpace makes more money than its rival.