Now that so many have written off Myspace, it remains to be seen what will happen to the media platform/social network. Recent interviews with Vice President of Content and Creative, Joseph Patel, and with co-owners Chris and Tim Vanderhook and Kenna suggest that the job of building a new Myspace will come down to one-by-one recruitment from the team to the artists to the fans.
Convincing Skeptical New Hires & Fans Alike
O Music Awards' Brenna Ehrlich interviewed Joseph Patel, Myspace's recently appointed Vice President of Content and Creative, at SXSW. He discussed why he joined Myspace, given that he was initially reluctant, including Kenna's role in recruiting him.
He also discussed plans for developing original content on Myspace, covering the "creative world at large" and featuring creators on the site.
He also stated that there are "a lot of skeptics that we have to win over, understandably, myself included" and shared an anecdote related to a Myspace show at SXSW:
"There was someone who saw the sign announcing tonight’s show and the girl was like, ‘How do I get into the show?’ and I said, ‘Well, you should go to the new Myspace and sign up'...Her friend was like, ‘Myspace? Who uses Myspace?’ And I was like, ‘All right, if you don’t want to go to the show that’s fine.’ And she says, ‘No, no, I really want to go.’"
"I told her, I said, ‘Look, here’s my email address, you go to the new site and you sign up. If you still hate it, if you still think it’s corny, then fair. But if you don’t, then I would like to know.’ And she emailed me this morning and was like, ‘Oh, not what I thought. Actually, this is kind of cool.’ That to me was like, ‘OK, one person at a time.’"
So What Does Justin Timberlake Do At Myspace?
On a related note, I'm sure I'm not the only one who wonders what people like Justin Timberlake bring to the music tech table beyond star power. Chuck Salter, writing for Fast company, shared an interesting take on the matter:
Timberlake gave fellow co-owners Chris and Tim Vanderhook (of Specific Media) a "crash course on the music industry...'We didn’t know what we didn’t know. He educated us a ton.'"
But, in light of Erhlich's interview with Patel, the following seems a bit more interesting:
"When they suggested bringing aboard some familiar faces--'The J Team, they jokingly called it--to make him feel welcome at the office, Timberlake told them it wasn’t necessary. Nonetheless, several months in, they realized they needed execs with expertise in music and entertainment and they turned to him."
Timberlake suggested numerous key hires including Kenna Zemedkun aka Kenna, described as "bursting with ideas and industry connections," Entourage music supervisor Scott Vener and marketing/directing team brothers Eric and Keith Tilford.
Kenna discussed the role both he and Justin Timberlake are taking in recruiting artists:
"I’ve talked to everybody from Adam Levine to Mark Foster [of Foster The People] to Kid Cudi...And Justin has talked to so many people."
One by one a network is being rebuilt.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at All World Dance: Videos and maintains Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.