Music Marketing

MySpace Shares Comeback Plans, Focus On Music

Myspace-logo In late June, Specific Media bought MySpace for $35 million and announced Justin Timberlake's involvement. Yesterday, they hinted at more of their comeback plans via an AdAge interview setting the stage for a possible press conference next week.

Al Dejewski, the new senior VP-global marketing for Specific Media who will also oversee marketing for Myspace, discussed the company's comeback plans with a focus on music as a "foundation" and iTunes, Spotify and Vevo as targeted competitors (as opposed to, say, Facebook and Google+):

"No other music destination online today can claim the breadth of partnership we have with the four major music labels in addition to the tens of millions of independent artists and the libraries of their songs."

Given that most musicians still seem to have some sort of presence on MySpace, whether or not that presence is active, MySpace has a lot to work with despite wide-ranging scepticism.

Yesterday, Dejewski also described the future MySpace as an "interactive content platform" for Specific Media that gives it a "consumer-facing platform."

At this point, the unspoken focus is not just on winning users, but on convincing advertisers of their strength, When Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook spoke with AdAge on the day of the sale, he stated:

"We intend to make MySpace what it was supposed to be. We want to fulfill the original promise of MySpace — be a true home for content creators and artists."

Music is the obvious place to start and having Justin Timberlake on board as creative adviser helps eventual bridging to movies, tv and other media. In that interview, Vanderhook also stated that they would hold a press conference in 60 days, including Timberlake, where they will get more specific on strategy. Look for an announcement early next week with yesterday's interview a teaser targeting advertisers.

Though News Corp. may have wanted MySpace to work, Specific Media needs it to be successful to realize their own aspirations. And that desire, combined with their considerable resources, may make a huge difference in focus and commitment.

Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He is currently relaunching Flux Research to pursue his long-standing obsession with web business models. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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  1. Good the first thing they can fix is the music player so that it actually can play music.
    If a “consumer-facing platform” means people can buy music from all artists in a simple process then that’s good.
    With a large concentration of artists and fans in one place they may be able to work out a much better streaming model.

  2. Right now, I would say that MySpace is more in competition with WordPress, SoundCloud, or BandZoogle than iTunes, Spotify, or Vevo. Perhaps sites like and are a better comparison to what a purely music focused MySpace could become.
    The real struggle for Specific Media will be redefining as anything other than the loser of the battle for the largest social network. I would look to Buzz-Media which runs a bunch of very specific web properties (Listed here: that drive traffic and awareness toward content in that site’s specific genre.
    If MySpace were to erase the line between a regular user profile and an artist/band profile by allowing users to customize their pages with different content modules rather than profile types, and then adding a new publisher class or an API that allows publishers on the web to direct attention at the content being uploaded via the MySpace platform.
    Imagine more of a backend for a digital Zine. Imagine being able to ask MySpace to give you a playlist of all the songs uploaded in Brooklyn on June 15th 2008 rather than an a place where people go to endlessly comment on your profile with links to their new soundcloud track.

  3. “The real struggle for Specific Media will be redefining as anything other than the loser of the battle for the largest social network.”
    That’s how I interpreted the statement that they were in competition with iTunes, Spotify and Vevo.
    Also it emphasizes downloads, streaming and video as core components of what they’ll be doing.
    But, yeah, getting people to compare them to something other than Facebook is probably one of their biggest current goals and it shows they’re more on the ball than previous owners.

  4. the single best thing they could do is eliminate the ability for people to add content to their pages that originates from other websites. it creates a massive slowdown of everything. there should also be a single player allowed–period. take a lesson from facebook and take more control over the content. but don’t take a lesson from facebook in trying to be a social network–that game is over. the greatest value myspace has is as a place where people go to find new music. my advice is to quit trying to be all things to all people–that’s what’s killing myspace.

  5. Do you mean the player currently featured on the homepage that allows you to embed it on other sites?
    I was wondering about that. Hadn’t had a chance to check it out.

  6. The battle of what’s killing MySpace is one of usefulness. No obvious benefit to artists leads to a dead site regardless of how many “friends” you have on there.
    If the braintrust at Specific Media (and Justin Timberlane) want to bring MySpace back from the ICU, they’ve got to prove value. The easiest way to do that would be to improve the access between fan and artist.
    Provide REAL email addresses that can be used to contact fans outside the platform. I’ve got a client with over 100k fans on MySpace, but they’re utterly meaningless in terms of career growth or development since they’re either spam adds or non-reachable. You can’t craft a quality message of any kind on their platform, so why expect a quality response?
    Finally, allow Direct-to-Fan platforms like Topspin to integrate in a meaningful, effective way. Most of all, find a way to bust the spam that’s obnoxiously pervasive on there.
    Ultimately though, the artist still needs a website that’s not owned or managed by anyone else. Syndicate and share wherever you want, but master your own domain first…

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