Social Media

As MySpace Falls, Where Will Fans & Musicians Go?

image from images.fastcompany.comUpdated. It hasn't been an easy year for MySpace. It's numbers have been down for months, earlier this week the company let go of 47% of its staff and parent NewsCorp is publicly trying to offload it.  But at least until recently, a core portion of it's user base – musicians and the fans that support them – have remained, all be it reluctantly, active on the site.  But as the numbers continue to fall,  where are musicians and their fans headed?

The obvious answer is Facebook, but despite some popular apps like RootMusic, it has not caught on with musicians in quite the way that the early MySpace did.  And, again despite some interesting apps, new music discovery is not easy on Facebook.  

paidContent points to an eclectic group of alternatives including The Sixty One, Sellaband, Bandcamp, Pledge Music, Tunecore and But that list is populated primarily with sites created to serve a specific function like fan funding, direct to fan sales or distribution; and none offer the mix of both popular and niche music that MySpace did (does?).

A new Nielson study shows that YouTube leads the current crop of sites for music consumption. But again, YouTube was created for another purpose – to air videos – and not music discovery.

What do you think? Will there be a new dominate destination for both musicians and fans?  If so, what it is? Or have we entered an era of many sites serving more specific communities?

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  1. sounds like all the more reason for the artistdata model to prove valuable.
    question for the artists – i know it’s now under the sonicbids umbrella, but has anything changed?

  2. I know we should be knocking it as a failing empire but I would still advise every band to have a MySpace profile – probably just to be there as one possible destination that a fan might find – almost like an EPK.
    Despite it’s horrid decline it is STILL somewhere people go to listen to music, and you can still use it to very simply connect with other bands in your genre and set up tours and shows.
    I’m not going to defend it past that though!
    The alternative is the band’s own site using all the tools mentioned above to point fans back to that huib that they control.

  3. Songza has possibilities due to its mix of both mainstream and indie. On the downside you need to be a US citizen to be able to use its “buy” facility and the discovery side is still pretty much pot luck based on which stations already created you listen to, as no community facilities exist either

  4. Didn’t this already happen in 2009 when everyone went to FB and Twitter? The source article just baffles me, clearly wasn’t written by a musician because this is an old issue everyone’s already dealt with.

  5. I agree with Michael Brandvold. I’m a signed independent musician and I also run a web company. Yes you need the social networks, but a hub for your music online is vital – and your own website is the only place you have total control. That’s why I started the PROPER Band Websites project – to make professional websites affordable to musicians. Because you don’t only need a website – you need a GOOD website.

  6. A bands fan relationships should be owned by the band and be portable. Best bet is to use real-time feeds on Facebook and Twitter. This is where most of the fans are on the web. Insert you content into the stream using Soundcloud, Tumblr and YouTube and point your fans to places on the web where they can engage with your content.

  7. Musicians have a TON of options these days. They just must keep in mind that they should choose places that is also good for their fans.

  8. I agree with Michael & Padma. Bands need their own website, using social networks for support, to funnel traffic to the site!
    Hell, for the price I’ve seen some artists spend for a custom Facebook landing page, I can practically design a pretty bad ass site for them. Don’t get me started with the ones who have paid $250 – $300 for a custom Myspace layout. I’ll design your site and host it for that!
    On another note, far-fetched and drastic, as it may seem – I suggest Facebook purchase Myspace. Create Facebook Music, kick all the bands off Facebook and all the personal profiles off Myspace. Two separate, but connected entities. Just an idea. I’ll head it up for them. hahaha

  9. I agree with some of the comments above – artists and bands should have their own site and use various music and social media sites as tools and additions to their own site. This includes having your own domain name.
    In regards to Facebook – is doing well in providing integrated solutions to your band’s FB profile.
    I welcome all indie artists and music fans to
    With 9 years of service, ArtistServer is one of the oldest indie music sites online. We have over 24,000 artists and members, and 9,700 songs hosted. I’m the site admin/founder – feel free to contact me with any questions about the site.

  10. At SonicTribe we’re seeing no strong move toward any single website. We’re expecting musicians to continue the trend of distributing their work within the main social network sites. Myspace feels as though it is waiting for its doors to close. It seems most musicians are seeing it in that light and looking elsewhere. The good news is that there are many more sites where fans are congregating than there were 5 years ago. So, we’re seeing lots of new sites aiming to assist independent musicians with distribution.
    To this extent I’d like to give this word of caution to independent musicians; when you make your choice of website to assist your music career know who is running that company. SonicTribe just put out a newsletter regarding the take over of formerly independent distribution channels by the major labels. (link below) To that regard, and the fact that we don’t support the major labels, we can’t recommend Reverbnation nor TuneCore. CDBaby is still doing a great job and has exceptional traffic to their site. We’re obviously doing all we can to assist and there are many other smaller online sites that have interesting models for artists.
    Here is the above referenced post regarding major labels and independent distribution channels:
    A Call To Arms?
    Additionally, I completely agree that sites that track data for musicians, like artistdata, will be very useful as there becomes more and more places for musicians to connect with fans and more and more data to mine as those connections grow. As the market develops there is certain to be better and better models.
    Thanks to hypebot once again for this great post!
    Keep Playing!

  11. @SonicTribe,
    I saw our name pop up here (ReverbNation) and then read your newsletter. While I support what you are trying to do in concept (validating the independent nature of music tech companies), your methodology may be a little bit on the ‘conspiracy theorist’ side of things.
    You suggest that Artists who use ReverbNation are ‘supporting the major labels’ simply because we have one former major label employee on our board of directors (Paul Vidich, who happens to be one of the sharpest guys I know).
    An alternative might be to use more of a ‘follow the money’ approach to the methodology, as I think that your current conclusions may be misleading in general, and they certainly are in our case. We are still very much independent here at Reverb (and happy about it).
    -Jed Carlson

  12. The bottom line here is that it is critical for bands to own their websites, and not rely in a third party. With your own site you 1) own the experience that fans have, 2) own the fan list, and 3) have a permanent resource that is not affected by the latest web fad.
    These days there are dozens of options, from Bandzoogle to WordPress to Tumblr. Social networks definitely have a place in the mix, but your website should be the hub where you direct your fans.

  13. Don, the problem with that idea is that MySpace was so effective in promoting music because you had both band profiles AND personal profiles in the place. You login to talk to friends and that’s when bands have the chance to try to get you to listen.

  14. ReverbNation is bomb. I seriously don’t know how it hasn’t caught on more. The platform offers more than any other website I’ve seen yet and it’s much better than facebook, myspace, purevolume. Rootmusic is cool, but ReverbNation also offers band pages on facebook. I don’t know if they’d get much of a following, but people need to get on board there.

  15. I think that this is going to be a big year for Rootmusic. Their Bandpages are great, no one competes with them in terms of customizable look, lack of clutter and ease of use. My guess is that this time next year it will be considered embarrassing to have a Facebook page for your band without a Bandpage tab.

  16. No doubt and I definitely agree. I never said my plan was perfect. hahaha However, I’m sure there’s a way to cross platform and create a rewarding experience for both bands and fans.

  17. Just to answer your question, I never used it because 1) it has Reverb Nation branding all over it and I’m trying to like, do my own and stuff? and 2) the only audience there is other musicians. I know indie musicians always jump on me for saying that because they read too much into it. There’s a time and a place to network with other musicians, but you just…don’t…need a social network to do it. Use Gmail. That’s what it’s for. Or a phone. Or go talk to people. When it comes to networking, that’s where you need REAL connections, not messages and metrics on someone else’s network.

  18. 600 Million People on Facebook…… BEST SOLUTION In My Opinion @RootMusic Watch THIS: AND ITS FREE Or $1.99 A Month For Premium!
    AND For Single Songs, Check out out of Montreal
    Here’s 1 example:

  19. I think could be the next big thing with it’s muscian based approach and with its network of bands, labels, venues and listeners. Theres quite a hype about it in Germany & Switzerland and they start becoming more and more international…

  20. Root Music looks great, but Reverb’s band profile app is free, and it collects email addresses from my facebook fans. huge.

  21. I saw the demise of Myspace coming a long time ago. It had started to become such a spamming ground that it would have been impossible to keep it up.
    Facebook will never replace Myspace in terms of potential. Twitter is for a different crowd.
    I think it is a lesson for musicians, especially those who do not have an official website. A blog and a website are essential to have a presence online. The other lesson is also that musicians should learn to promote themselves better and on their own, rather than relying on the shaky grounds provided by a service that is supposedly free.
    To me, the best place to be right now is ReverbNation. They rank high in search engines.

  22. Facebook needs serious help too! A current music profile with years as a member, is not allowed to transfer fans to their Band Profile Page. I tried. If someone knows how to transfer (duplicate) my current musician friends, family and fans on my facebook profile page to my band profile page, PLEASE let me know. They make you connect your business to your actual name and personal information. That could be dangerous, considering cyber profile thiefs, stalkers, etc.. It is very hard to accumulate artist friends and fans in the first place on facebook, because facebook limits you and only allows 16 emails at a time and limits how many people you can friend in a given time and if you go too fast they block you and send messages, like “Are you sure you know this person?” and “your sending friend requests too fast! Slow Down!” and “You have set off a spam alert” Stuff like that. .. How can facebook be considered friendly to music fans or musicians with restrictions like that, which slows down competitors and those who need exposure to gain popularity?

  23. As an artist / musician you shouldn’t worry about any social sites out there. If you’re serious with your music career, you should have your own website.
    Get account to any social sites, and these sites should be your place to hang out, communicate and promote a link/ links about your music which is on your website.
    You have spent so much time promoting, get connected with other bands, get massive fans, imagine if facebook, twitter, myspace (soon) reverbnation, tunecore, etc are closed today without warning
    What do you do?
    Well it’s my two cents.. for you to think about

  24. myspace is not the problem as much as it is the willingness of people to buy music @ all anymore fullstop. we need to question the quality of waht we’re putting out there. soluble is a word that tells me a lot about substance and our output must meet the results we’re after.

  25. With the risk of shamelessly promoting my own venture…
    I think that you can’t argue with the 2 giant forces
    that are now dominating the way music is being distributed and consumed – social network on one hand, and user/artist generated content websites (YouTube leads that category, but Soundcloud and Bandcamp are also good examples) on the other hand.
    The content sites are there to stream music, but not for music discovery. Social networks are there to help you discover people and through them content, but they are limited in terms of reach and discovery (on Facebook I’m limited to just my friends…).
    The solution IMHO is integrating these 2 forces, and building a music interest overlay on top of the existing social networks, allowing people to easily share content from various content websites according to an interest, not necessarily social graph.
    This allows people to discover new people who share their music taste (music soul mates), but also for artists to reach new crowds and not just their die-hard fans.
    …and here comes the shameless promotion warning — this is what we are working on in and so far the feedback regarding discovery are amazing.
    I think that looking forward there will be more sites that will allow artists to upload and stream their works, and smart integration with social networks as a distribution platform would become more and more significant.

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