Ah MySpace, the website that brought social networking and social media into the homes of the masses. Once the king of the internet, valued at $12 billion and becoming the most visited website in the world, it has since been dethroned and fallen from grace. Or has it? It was recently purchased by Specific Media and Justin Timberlake in June 2011 for $35 million with hopes of breathing new life into the company. But will they be able to reclaim the throne in a much more crowded kingdom? The answer to that remains to be seen but based on the preview it looks like something worth getting excited about.
The obvious issue is that there are already enough, if not too many, social networks for the average user. Between Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Youtube, Google+ and the many others, the internet has become inundated with social media. Billed as a way to connect artists and fans, the MySpace team at Specific media has taken a smart approach by letting users integrate their Facebook and Twitter accounts rather than having to create a new one. With celebrities and artists already connecting with fans via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram perhaps integration and consolidating is something we need more of.
Seamless integration and creative design are two big things the new MySpace has going for it. Based on the preview video posted by Justin Timberlake, the website does look gorgeous and functional; 2 issues which plagued it in the past. Perhaps the biggest thing it has going for it is the music feature, which is something it actually always did exceptionally well.
Once a great way for big names and local bands alike to post songs, event info, pictures, etc, it will now let users create and share playlists, listen to whole albums, discover new music based on recommendations, and more. A cool feature for the artists is an analytics page which provides demographic breakdowns of their audiences by age, gender, region, etc. MySpace currently boasts one of the largest music catalogues on the internet, albeit from mostly unknown artists, at 42 million songs. If they can get some big artists and labels on board or even integrate with other services like Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, or Rhapsody then it could very well come back to life.
There’s still a lot that is up in the air for the new MySpace but if it can find a way to get over the hump, play nicely with the other social networks, and deliver great content then I think it will be a success. If it can’t create a pleasant, clutter-free, and unique experience for the user then it may be time to just let it die out.
Kelli Richards, President and CEO
The All Access Group, LLC