Social Media

Why The Decline of MySpace Is Great For Musicians

image from Before you could say "We're big on Myspace", it seems the foundations of this once burgeoning oasis of digital discovery have quickly crumbled. These days, it actually closer resembles an online Salton Sea.

In retrospect and with hindsight we have to ask ourselves – did we ever really need MySpace?

  1. No one made money from music on MySpace. Yes you had 50,000 fans and 1 million plays, but in the end what did that do for you? 

    This is a business and you don't have a successful band unless it's making money. MySpace got fans and bands into the mindset that music was worth nothing more than a friend request and a number of plays.

    The failure of MySpace brings back the realization that music is worth something and the over saturation of messages is not what the fan wants.

  2. MySpace is an extension of the dying major music industry. MySpace quickly got into bed with the majors, partnering with Interscope and selling out to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. They didn't care about the importance of nurturing a career or promoting good music, they just cared about making money for themselves. Majors used it create a facade that the industry was vibrant again, and that they were at the forefront.

    They got desperate and did whatever they could to perpetuate this myth. 

    It no longer became about fans discovering music for themselves and independent musicians flourishing, it was just another platform for big business to exploit and to coerce you in the direction of what they wanted.

  3. MySpace encouraged a corrupt mentality. MySpace was a breeding ground for desperate bands who were desperate to appear successful. Bands even went to the extent to buy plays and friends.

    Go on admit it – you did it, didn't you?

    Well, in any other business cementing a deal based on falsifying numbers is called fraud. The death of MySpace helps makes the business of music a bit more honest again. With it now disintegrating, the great bands who are creating great music and genuine followings are no longer so casually lumped in with the spoiled kids with rich parents, who wanted their "precious little fluffy bunny to be a biggy wiggy star".

  4. No more Tila Tequilas. Or any other vapid, emotionally unstable individuals, using their scantily clad assets to whore themselves to any geeky virgin that would click 'accept friend request'. 

    MySpace made it even easier for these talentless types to claim singing as a part of their resume. So now when you get chatting with someone who proclaims themselves to be big on MySpace, you can give them the advice that they really need to get out more. 

  5. You might actually get out of the house. MySpace led bands to believe they didn't have to do the hard work of getting out and building a live following anymore. You just upload a couple of tracks and you and your band mates spend your nights inside clicking – add as a friend…add as a friend…add as a friend. Maybe it's time to realize that your real 'friends' are the ones who pay ten bucks to see you at their local venue and walk away with a copy of your new CD under their arm.

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  1. How many anti Myspace things are you guys going to keep putting up. Don’t you realize the very fact you keep mentioning them makes them relevant. Another thing, a lot of people know that if they want to hear their bands music, myspace is the place to go, plus it ranks high on search engines. Don’t get me wrong, I never check mine anymore. But a lot of the same issues myspace had are now spilling into Facebook and Twitter.

  2. Neither Facebook nor Twitter are getting the same issues. Facebook Pages don’t have the ‘Friend Request’ feature, a fan has to literally click ‘Like’. It’s the same with a follow on Twitter.
    On Twitter, you can’t message someone who isn’t already following. And these bands aren’t going out @ replying those who AREN’T following them, either.
    On Facebook, from a Fan Page, you cannot comment or message anyone. Not even your fans (except for the ‘Message Blasts’ which you aren’t even notified of if you don’t know where to look).
    There is no massive band spam problem on either of these platforms like MySpace.

  3. There is a friend request button on facebook, if you chose to have a personal facebook along with your band facebook page, some people use secondary pages, to funnel people into fan pages, and yes in facebook, i get an average of about 30 to 40 emails a day of dee jays and artists, promoting their music. Also they can just post on your wall whatever they want, and they can tag you on music and videos that have nothing to do with you, which happens to be pretty annoying. So yeap, there is also spam, and crap, in Facebook.

  4. As a member of a band who went national during the peak of Myspace (we’ve sold 70,000+ cds since then), I have to say that it did wonders for us, and I think the decline of Myspace seriously hurt the independent music community. Here’s what I loved about Myspace:
    1. People could post a song they liked on their page, and people would listen. We racked up over a million plays from this alone.
    2. For a while, Myspace plays were just as valid as Sound Scan numbers. We were able to actually use them as leverage in negotiating our record deal. I could even predict how well a band we were playing with was going to draw based on their Myspace plays, and I was usually right.
    3. The “browse friends near a zip code” function let us find the 100 fans we had in Orlando, FL out of our 40,000 friends and send them a personal message about an upcoming show. Once that functionality disappeared, we started asking people for their zip code when they signed up on our mailing list, and our singer programmed a system that brings up every person within 100 miles of a zip code (before we knew about Fanbridge or Eventful). We now have 5,000+ emails and we can pull up 100+ emails for every major city again… it only took THREE YEARS to build that list up.
    4. Myspace bulletins were incredible. Wall posts worked on Facebook, but I just liked bulletins better. It was like a press release just for your fans.
    There were definitely downsides to Myspace, I’ll be the first to tell you that. Spam was horrible on Myspace. For a while we dealt with what we called “Myspace promoters”… promoters who thought that all they had to do was send out some Myspace messages about a show and that’s it. We got stiffed for $700 by a promoter who did that shit because the show tanked.
    But overall, I think there was way more net positives than negatives about Myspace for the music community, and I mourn the loss of it. I knew Facebook wouldn’t be as helpful to bands the first time I opened up our band’s Facebook page and had to ask, “Hey, where’s the music player?”

  5. Bands should not be utilizing personal pages as a replacement for Fan Pages. You DO have the option to report those to Facebook. They actually do something about it, I’ve done it a few times. Don’t just turn a blind-eye then come bitch about it.
    I don’t get a single message, wall post, or e-mail from any DJ or artist. I may get the occasional event invitation or Update, but those don’t show unless I go looking for them, and they sure as hell don’t show up on my wall.
    If they’re tagging you and annoying, it is NOT hard to do the proper thing and report the profile, or, easier for you, just UNFRIEND them. Why is this such a hard concept for people?

  6. This article is useless. Why spend so much time bashing myspace? Myspace was good for a couple of things. The major thing being exposure. Before myspace, there was only a couple of ways bands on a limited budget could gain exposure. When myspace took off, bands from the smallest parts of the world and darkest corners of the world had a platform to instantly be seen by anyone. That type of exposure was impossible until then. Nobody said myspace was supposed to make you money. It wasn’t supposed to make you money. It did exactly what it was intended for. Enough of this guy already.

  7. Points 2 & 3 are what sunk MySpace for me.
    Lesson to be learned from this? With any music site, status should never become the main “currency.” Quality art should always have that role.
    As a Music Supervisor, MySpace never realized its potential as a vehicle for discovering new music. Not only was it a difficult UI to navigate, but the music that admins promoted never showcased the one resource MySpace had in abundance – underground/unsigned artists. If only the art had been higher up on the importance list…
    That combined with the “evil twin” complex that seemed to overtake artists on MySpace really put me off. Here you suddenly had a site where once naive, carefree artists were now launching spam schemes and cheat codes to bolster their “resumes” in the hopes of breaking out. Quality became an afterthought (and never a given), and being a musician myself, this was a main reason I resisted joining the community for years…it just wasn’t a Fair Space. period.
    Clearly all of this wasn’t just the company’s fault. Community users willingly bought into and propagated this new, bastardized, overly-competitive and isolated outlook on music.
    Oh well, some of the greatest lessons in life are learned through failures…maybe the key to the revival of the music industry can be gleaned from the fall of MySpace.

  8. 1. No one made money from music on MySpace? So Facebook will make us money now. The streaming services in work and coming look like they will come with very low royalty rates.
    2. MySpace is an extension of the dying major music industry? Just wait…they will glom onto whatever comes next.
    3. MySpace encouraged a corrupt mentality? And the whole internet is any better? I did not feel corrupting influences. Did anybody else?
    4. No more Tila Tequilas? Let’s hope the next big thing can prevent it then.
    5. You might actually get out of the house? No: bands used it to help with general promotion for their live or online followings.
    If there was a better alternative now, or this article revealed it, this article would have been useful. Every band in the world is on MySpace, so the new buyer needs to take care of any such issues raised by the article. My recommendation is to eliminate the corporate front page and build a better search and browse discovery functionality.
    Why should bands who have invested their creativity to have to withstand criticisms of this platform–the author is making fun of bands, not just MySpace. I needed MySpace, and need for it to become part of whatever is next.

  9. There is no hard concept about anything, fact of the matter is, facebook was originally designed for people to get in touch with family and old friends, and share pictures, and stuff. When Facebook was NOT DESIGNED to be a networking tool for musicians, or any other profession really. Only reacently have they allowed for integration with a few selected companies to have music players. They even took out all the Reverbnation players out of facebook this week. So here is to my point myspace, WAS at one point all about music discovery and networking for musicians, and it WAS very useful, and over time the lack of attention and poor decision making, made them annoying and slow, and the cool features for bands, that we liked, were taken out. The Fact of the matter is one, Myspace failed because there was NO FILTERS!!! NONE WHAT SO EVER. If you wanted to discover 1 good new artist you had to listen to the profiles of 1000 shitty bands of amateurs. What this industry needs are FILTERS that separate Pros, from people who see music as a Hobby.

  10. Myspace still can be great. It needs just some better coding. Myspace should be only for musician. Myspace made money for ppl. I know ppl who designe myspace pages for a living.

  11. Point 1 is totally wrong!
    A lot of bands created their audience from zero thanks to myspace… these are the people that go to the gigs and “feed” the artists through concert tickets and merch, the main income for medium-little bands

  12. I think the main difference between what MySpace was and what Facebook and Twitter are is that they make a distinction between “friends” or “following” and “fans” or “followers” versus just friends. These days I am much more focused on Facebook because that is where the people are, but I use any site that I can to get my music to the four corners of the world.

  13. Nice points here, though not everything so black and white. Certainly not so black. With all the choice we have now, why not to be on Myspace AND on Facebook AND on Twitter, as long as you are genuinely communicating?
    Surely Myspace is not appealing as it was, but still has it’s pluses.
    I see the same kind of “Myspace misuse” on other platforms as well. So what? The age of naivety is over.
    People just ignore those “ADD ME N-O-W!!!” fellows.
    I wrote a little blog post about this issue:
    If you like you can read it here:
    I once read an interview with a really famous musician. He basically said that no one got into music for a good reason: was it the fame, the money, or the girls. Only when time passed, he came to realize what’s really important.
    Stay true, b3, 1 love

  14. I still use myspace but only for a Search Result in the Search Engines..and a link from Myspace to my website helps with SEO..Google still places a little weight on Myspace Pages in their Search results so why not use it…I havent logged in to my Myspace page in over 6 months

  15. Wow no wonder so many people hated MySpace with so much ignorance and misuse.
    I agree with the article for the most part but there is one glaring point all of you fail to realize. Friend requesting when used in the right way by a band that had strong material was the best way to make new fans, when you requested someone you in essence introduced them to your music which they may or may not become a fan of depending on the strength of your music in most cases these friend requests turned into solid fans. I disagree with the “MySpace not making you money” argument as I made a ton of money through music on MySpace in that once the new fan was gained they would “follow” your bulletins and so forth and PURCHASE your merch/CD/itunes ETC. I always thought of MySpace as a radio of sorts in introducing music to potential new listeners that may or may not like your music. As far as falsifying numbers, I never saw the point of it and never did it and find it laughable that labels would sign artists based on plays as I know for a fact that there were bots to increase your plays pretty much since the beginning of MySpace and artists like tequila and others used it to make them seem bigger then what they were. No, the sad truth is currently on Facebook there is a way to “Buy” fans but the sad part is this is truly a VACANT way to gain fame…it’s purely for the “impress” factor which some magazines still fall for as evidenced by some bands I know are “buy”ing 10K fans at a time on Facebook (mostly from India) to make their pages seem bigger than what they are but that doesn’t lead to direct new fans other than tricking magazines. It’s all pretty sad now really.
    The next big thing will NOT be on the internet, it will be on Mobile phones connected to the internet, and yes MySpace’s death is a huge loss for independent music but in a lot of ways I am glad that MySpace is dead.

  16. One last thing I want to add, indie musicians weren’t the only ones to profit from MySpace, there were a ton of shirt and clothing companies that did very well using it….most of them were indie like the musicians. But let’s not forget that even Major Labels were using MySpace in much the same way Indie musicians were to help cultivate and maintain a fan base. Here is another fact, a lot of bands that were signed to majors didn’t let it be known that they were signed in order to have the illusion of that indie cred on MySpace … Tila Tequila was one of them as she blasted all the time about “accomplishing” all that she has on her own…and at the time she was signed to Universal Records but didn’t want anyone to know of it same as with Hollywood Undead etc. The one’s who benefit the most from the loss of MySpace are the major labels, because now, the only real way to gain massive exposure really is through them for most bands…although there are still ways indies can compete, most indies don’t have the abilities or strength or brains really judging from this conversation to do so.

  17. But myspace music gave a free home for any musician and this was a good thing. Check out the newly released mobile music service called Hit or Miss – – you can create a mobile music profile and promote your music to millions of music fans.

  18. Hmm wonder what happens when Facespacebook fails. And the bandcamps and the Soundclouds. Make no mistake most music sites have millions going in and nothing coming out. What will the snarky comments be then? Corporate investment isn’t why Myspace failed. It quite simply failed because the novelty wore out and there was a product to take its place…Facebook. No reason to get all surgical on a head cold…but lets. I mean, remember Friendster? Heck I doubt even iTunes Ping thingy is going to really be so revolutionary. Who the hell wants to ‘meet’ some stranger in Idaho just because he has the same Doors album you do?
    These are social fads that have little to do with the actual music or the band and more to do with folks following their human nature in not wanting to appear to be left out. So if they get a request from a band that has 3000 friends they’re probably more apt to accept friendship I mean 3000 friends? I don’t wanna seem like the lame that’s never heard of these guys, right? Doesn’t matter if they never go see a show or download a free single. Heck I’m “friends” with bands and producers and I’ve never heard bar one of their music just like most people. Because it works both ways it also makes the individual seem more popular. Oh wow Amy has 500 friends she’s so cool.
    And for the record you’re a lost if you don’t think social media marketing professionals are paid to increase Facebook friend counts just like they did for myspace…its harder, but its done…trust me I used to do it at DAILY at a reputable music PR firm.
    That said, most people believe it or not still find out about bands the old fashioned way…they go out, or their friends tell them about it, or they hear about it on the radio or television, or they read about it in print or online. Your online existence/profile is hardly the first step to success. Be it on Myspace or whatever space.
    If you have 2000 Facebook friends but can’t get 20 people out to a show in your hometown….chances are Facebook is just as deceitful for you as Myspace was. Major difference being at least with Myspace it was easier to upload content and keep it permanent on your page and give those 2000 people something to evaluate you on the first time they check your profile. Myspace had NO monopoly on the virtual vs. true fan phenomenon.
    Ultimately online music marketing has to support what’s real so it can sell it, not conjure some illusion. Sooner or later the magic show will be over. You have to back it up. Its one thing to have 2000 friends on ANY social network and not be cared about. Its another to have 2000 friends on that same network and know you can pull at least 30-50 folks into a club in any city you go to. Both use the same techniques of online marketing, but only one is a band people actually give a crap about.
    The decline of myspace means NOTHING to music. That’s like saying the closing of Kanye West’s Fat Burger is a good thing for those fighting obesity in Chicago. Huh? One website’s failure is a good thing for indie musicians? Weren’t people telling us the closing of labels and record stores were good for bands too? How’s that working out? Every band in i-Tunes top 100 is on a label. wake up.
    Online Music Marketing should be about marketing music. Instead its lately become a soap box for any schmuck with a record collection and a college degree to talk about how much they hate labels and stuff. Bravo you’re single handedly saving music through intelligent marketing!!
    Oh and by the way you do realize more often than not when one media company buys another they kinda want it to go out of business? Its called eliminating competition and capturing market share. That’s marketing 101. Definitely News Corp would have loved for Myspace to work. But if it doesn’t m’eh they still remain one of the largest media powers in the world. Regardless of how many rebellious rapscallions post some blog about how crappy Myspace was.
    If this were 2005 the same writer would be sitting on a panel at some over-priced conference saying “I think bands should be on myspace increasing their online presence, because i do online music marketing and labels are bad”.
    Don’t drop the stick before you cross the river and all that jazz

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