Can MySpace make a “comeback”?

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/04/business/la-fi-ct-myspace-20111004

This recent LA Times article discusses the relevant topic of the intersection between the music industry and social media. It specifically concerns Myspace and the site’s ability, under new leadership of Specific Media, to make a “comeback”. MySpace has been in the shadow of rival Facebook for a solid three years, but its new owners are banking on the site’s “ability to marry the elements of community” with the rights to stream 42 million songs, its strategy to offer exclusive partnerships to advertisers, its intention to simplify navigation and social networking features and the creation of original programs rooted in music. Industry insiders are skeptical and claim that MySpace has much catching up to do.

All in all – knowing what we do about Facebook, Spotify, MOG, Pandora, etc.

– Do you think Specific Media can lead MySpace to a “comeback”?

– Will MySpace simply end up being “just another music website”, or do you think it can find a distinct way to differentiate itself from its competition?

– With its new strategy, do you think MySpace can once again reclaim its place amongst emerging artists as the go-to site to post music, videos, etc. to get noticed by and network with industry professionals and record labels?

– If you do not think that MySpace will make a “comeback” based on the information in the article, then what should it consider when executing its re-launch strategy in order to succeed?

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2 thoughts on “Can MySpace make a “comeback”?

  1. I’m incredibly pessimistic regarding the notion that MySpace can make some sort of measurable comeback in the digital landscape. While there may be a niche space that the site can carve out, it’s overall vision of marrying elements of community with legal rights to streaming millions of songs is completely far-fetched.

    First, there’s just way too much competition in regards to consuming major-label and independent artist’s music within the digital marketplace for MySpace to have any impact. Between the MTV’s, Vevo’s, Pandora’s and Spotify’s of the world, there are just far too many established destinations for music consumption.

    The second, and more important factor is the idea of community. The concept of focusing a social community around music discovery is a fantastic idea, however MySpace was a bit too late in rolling this vision out. As we discussed in prior classes, Facebook’s newly established relationship with Spotify already offers music fans this same experience at a much higher level. Not only does Spotify offer millions upon millions of music choices to consumers, but it does so within the internet’s largest social community of Facebook. The vast majority of people (almost all of which are music fans) engage in social networking on Facebook- not MySpace. Their friends, family members and favorite music editorialists engage in social dialogue on Facebook- again, not MySpace. Therefore, it seems highly unlikely that a major exodus would take place from Facebook back to MySpace for this sharing to take place. Facebook will almost certainly reign supreme in music community for years to come.

    There is one plausible scenario I can see working for MySpace, which traces itself back to the site’s roots. It could be feasible that the site is reborn into a destination where aspiring bands and musicians upload their music content for people to see. If up-and-coming bands have yet to be signed or don’t have the money to produce their own websites or distributions channels, MySpace could be a platform that these aspiring acts can leverage to get their music out there. This is how MySpace started its path to becoming the most visited social network in the world, so maybe, just maybe it can exploit this one niche area to gain relevance again.

  2. There’s nothing to me that makes Myspace unique anymore. There are countless music social networks (Pure Volume, RCRDLBL, or even just passionate comment sections at Brooklyn Vegan, Pitchfork, or even MTV) that really don’t make much traction. Furthermore, Spotify’s relationship with Facebook sort of takes away the music component- as it’s far easier to read what you friend is listening to rather than a having to send you friends a link to a page. It’s also far easier to find a song through Spotify’s iTunes clone application than any webpage search that Myspace could develop.

    It’s good that MySpace realizes that the most problematic aspect of them was the terrible architecture, but it just comes across as too little too late. Tumblr is already a sleeker version of what MySpace was in it’s hey day, in that it is literally a person’s space online to have a design that they want.

    As for going back to it’s roots? There are still a million bands on MySpace which provides the same clutter. I really can’t see how the website will be anything more than the abandoned amusement park of the internet.

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