So What Should MySpace Do Now?
Last week Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook and Justin Timberlake discussed MySpace at Advertising Week. Their pitch was to marketers and they described themselves as the "Hulu of Music" in keeping with their ongoing effort to reposition themselves as a music community rather than a social network. Given that this is a reiteration of their summer messaging, what should MySpace do now?
In a Pitch Deck used in last week's Advertising Week presentation, MySpace presented itself as the "Hulu of Music" and continued its positioning as a music site with a "rebirth" plan focused entirely on music including the goal of becoming the "#1 online community music destination".
Vanderhook recently pointed out that MySpace was once known for being a platform that indie artists could use to build a fanbase. He also noted that MySpace has the rights to stream a massive amount of music.More clues as to what's next can be squeezed out of the limited accounts of last week's presentation. But the question remains, what should MySpace do now?
My Top 3 Suggestions:
(1) Continue to streamline the site and improve performance
This should be an ongoing focus but is particularly important as MySpace gives people a reason to take another look. Bad performance will remind old users of what they hated all along.
(2) Focus on serving indie artists
Serving indie artists won't result in hordes of listeners boosting traffic but it will provide the basis for a credibility reboot especially if they can get beyond the "Indie Rock Version of American Idol" and towards something that indie artists might find meaningful.
(3) Work with developers to leverage streaming music
MySpace has a lot of relationships but they are no longer where people go to find music. One way to increase excitement around music would be to unleash the creativity and power of developers. We've seen lots of open web services leveraging YouTube and SoundCloud and lots of eager closed web developers on Facebook so why not find a way to combine the two and bring developers to the MySpace platform in a more creative manner?
Those are my best thoughts for MySpace. What are yours?
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith is a freelance writer and blogger. He blogs about web business models at Flux Research and the world of dance at All World Dance. To suggest music services and related topics for review at Hypebot, please contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.
Mobile. Myspace used to be the goto place to check out indie bands. Now that the market has spread to facebook, reverbnation, soundcloud, etc., redifining themselves as the mobile leader in this regard will bring them back.
For instance, if I’m at a show and have never heard of the local opener, there isn’t much I can do. Google hardly helps if they are small, and even if i get a good link to FB or RN, those sites do not have good streaming apps.
MySpace should concentrate on the international market for now, rather than trying to preach to the American choir. A lot of new and some fairly established bands still use MySpace as their primary website. For those that have a website, the MySpace page ranks first or at the very least, much higher in search than the website does. I think because of this, they have an opportunity to super-serve the international musicians and users that still depend on this as a platform of music discovery.
I think they should think and act like a brand new web based company that is in the process of climbing their way up. A lot can be learned from the straight forward marketing approach of Soundcloud. They stuck to script offering something better and easier to use than what was out there. They got fancier later, AFTER they had a robust fanbase. But, their main focus was highlighting what set them apart from the rest.
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