09 Oct MySpace Amplifies Its Music Focus
MySpace’s Third Act: Why The Social Network Is Doubling Down On Music For Its Latest Incarnation
By Andrew Hampp
October 08, 2012
The new Myspace is aiming to fill the void in music discovery yet to be filled by Facebook, Twitter and even Spotify, and many industry executives and artists are ready to give it their backing.
After unveiling a splashy two-minute video previewing its new design on Sept. 24, Myspace began opening up its new private beta to select artists and label executives to give the music industry a chance to help shape its new look. Though it’s still very early days, several key music industry executives who spoke with Billboard like what they’ve seen — which is much-needed good news for Myspace, a property practically left for dead when it was acquired by its third owner in seven years, Specific Media, for $35 million in 2011, far short of the $580 million that News Corp. paid in 2005.
“Social networks collect tons of data, and what we’re trying to do is put that data in the hands of our community rather than a black-box fashion,” Chris Vanderhook says. “Artists want more transparency into who their most important fans are, so we’re calculating who those people are and serving it not just for the artists but for the fans to have that recognition.”
That knack for curation is Myspace’s greatest opportunity, another major-label executive says. “We have a very disparate music landscape digitally right now. I don’t think anyone’s really been that voice of the fans for a really long time,” the exec says. “The Hype Machines and Pitchforks all have a place, but that’s very far away from the mainstream. As much as I love and respect what those sites do for our artists, I feel like that spot somewhere between the hipster and the mainstream is a very empty place right now.”