Social Media

Why MySpace Hates Musicians

Shit-my-dad-says-1254939044 Industry pundit Andrew Dubber is like Christopher Hitchens and Sh*t my Dad Says rolled into one human being—brash intellectualism and erudite philosophy, filled with moments of 'I-can’t-believe-he-just-said-that.' His contribution to Music Think Tank last week is no exception. In it, Dubber pulls the curtain down and starts throwing punches at MySpace and doesn’t let up. And, deservingly so. He makes the point that, contrary to any belief…

The social network has nothing to do with helping people connect to their friends or helping musicians reach out to their fans; it’s owned by a corporation and we’re their product—the audience. The customer is the other companies that want to place their pixelated banner ads in front of our eyeballs.

For musicians, that means that it doesn’t matter if they are green and don’t eat meat—MySpace has all the right to sell your fans the products of the very companies that are burning the world down and inform them of the best place to buy rib eye steaks if they see fit. It doesn’t really matter.

In the larger scheme, just by participating in putting up your music on MySpace, which is part-owned by major record labels, your funding the production of the very lowest-common-denominator pop and commercial music that you hate.

Even though the Product Manager at MySpace Music is a musician and understands the trials of being an indie musician and having a day job, he is unable to make any kind of meaningful change to the social network.

Dubber plainly insinuates that MySpace is a turd that has been rolled in glitter.

You can’t polish it—at all—but you can make it sparkle.  He writes, “the fact is—MySpace is not an internet service for artists and fans despite what it may appear to do on the surface.” Basically, it’s a broadcast medium, like radio, without any of the benefits. You’d like to think that you’re selling music and identity to socially distraught and lost teenagers, but if you look a little closer it will become obvious that MySpace is selling them chocolate bars and Mnt Dew.

On radio, the customers are still the advertisers, but the reward for getting played is that you get access to their wide-audience. On MySpace, you bring your own audience into the equation and don’t even get the braagging rights of a hit single.

If you want a platform for musicians, Dubber suggests that you go elsewhere. For the immediate future, keeping your profile up serves the purpose of being found easily in Google. But, it also serves to fund Ke$ha’s next album, killing baby seals, and plundering the planet’s resources—all under the guise of keeping you in touch with your friends and empowering musicians—but not really. Read on.

Share on:


  1. I don’t think this really makes any sense!
    Some witty angle doesn’t mean anything. MySpace has done an amazing job for boosting the status of many DIY bands. And the part about the site not being for the customer/subscribers, but for the companies providing pixilated banners? How’s the Subway Fresh Artists promotion going?
    Generating revenue through advertising is fundamental. Simple. It’s the music BUSINESS.
    And how can you compare radio and myspace!? View MySpace as a consumer A&R tool. So many times I have typed myspace followed by a band, loved their music and contributed to their earnings through other ways such as going to the shows.
    Pop will be pop. If the music is so bad why do millions listen to those songs? If it means lots of money is speant on music which might result in the majors reinvesting the earnings by signing a few risky indie artists then good!

  2. I disagree with the whole notion of the corporation. Facebook, Twitter and every other venture-funded company is all about the bottom line. We are talking Venture Capital here.
    Myspace, Facebook and Twitter are all different kind of networks. We use them in entirely different ways. Twitter followers for .MUSIC has a better ROI. The “like” feature is not as effective as a follower. The Myspace “friend” is quite different since we are looking at a Myspace dropoff in regards to interaction.
    Facebook uses ads as well and so does Twitter with their sponsored Tweets. Not sure what you are expecting from these companies. Their goal is to monetize (eventually for some). If you have a problem with them, get your own music website and build something better. Let your music talk. I think Myspace has done a pretty good job for musicians over the last 7 years. Question is how if they will become relevant again. Only with innovation.
    The ads are just what keeps them alive so you can not blame them for that. This has nothing to do whether you are a corporation or a small business owner. You need to pay the bills and earn a profit.
    Constantine Roussos

Comments are closed.