How MySpace Totally Blew It’s Big Relaunch

image from cms.myspacecdn.comDespite a beautiful looking redesign, the new MySpace has not gained any traction. Musicians and marketers that I've spoken to say they're not seeing any increased activity; and sadly, there's an absurdly simple reason behind MySpace's dead in the water re-start. As serial music tech entrepreneur and occasional Hypebot contributor Brenden Mulligan points out, "MySpace decided that they would erase the audience that the bands had built and ask them to start over…To put it simply, THEY DELETED THE F*CKING FANS."


Even during it's multi-year decline, MySpace still had real traffic.  Hundreds of thousands of musicians had created MySpace pages and posted tracks.  In return, MySpace delivered traffic – hundreds of millions of fans. Even late last year, is you did a search on almost any band – particularly lesser known ones – and their often neglected MySpace page ranked in the top 5 results.

The New MySpace

"When MySpace finally started letting people in to experience the new site, we all realized the same thing. While it’s neat, it’s not easy to use and doesn’t feel like it’s worth rebuilding a social graph again," Mulligan, who founded and sold ArtistData and recently launched OneSheet, wrote on TechCrunch.

image from sphotos.xx.fbcdn.net"As I played with the new site, I noticed I wasn’t connected to any bands or friends. I realized that my old account was under a different email address, so I signed out and tried to sign in with my old address. That didn’t work, but then I saw the option to use my old MySpace account," Mulligan continued. "I used my old email and password and then it became clear that while I was using my old credentials, it wasn’t really porting over my account. It was just letting me use the old login info…Then I saw the column on the right that prompted me to connect to certain artists. That was confusing to me. I’d been connected to them on MySpace before. Shouldn’t I still be connected to them?"

Bands Start With Zero Fans On The New MySpace

"…Getting musicians to care at all about MySpace again is a hard enough challenge. Getting them to care enough to try to rebuild a fan base on the platform is out of the question. And that’s what they’re expecting. Every musician starts out in the new MySpace with zero fans. They need to start from scratch. To tell their audience, 'Go back to MySpace and connect with us'." Mulligan cites these examples:

  • Britney Spears has about 1.5 million friends on the old MySpace.
    • She has fewer than 7,000 connections on the new MySpace.
  • Justin Timberlake, the new MySpace creative's director and partner, has about 1.5 million friends on the old site.
    • He has just 50,000 on the new.

Can MySpace Recover?

It's difficult to see how. "Musicians and entertainment professionals were the only real users MySpace had left. And the only reason they came was because they already had built an audience in MySpace’s heyday, concludes Mulligan. "Now, they have no reason to return."

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  1. Actually the reality is not so much “Go back to Myspace and connect with us” as “Go back to Myspace, re-register and start your account over”. The best that trying to connect with your old Myspace credentials will get you is an automatic fill in of many of the registration details as you still have to accept their new T&C and privacy policies (which include extensive provisions for sharing data with third parties) before you can continue with the site.

  2. We have both new and old myspace and also find the lack of any connection to our old myspace friends a huge limit also if you try to share something on another site to myspace it post to your old profile. Alls they had to do was go back to myspace 2006 just start from there.

  3. so i just did some fact checking over the last 2 days and registered under multiple different user names (10 to be exact…i had a lot of different myspace profiles back in the day both multiple artist accounts and personal) and found that of the 10 registrations…1 of them showed me a different sign up path where it asked me if i wanted to connect to the friends and artists that I’d made on the old myspace….the other 9 times, it did not give me that option and the sign up process was much less intuitive than when they asked if i wanted to bring over my old connections. This shows me that myspace must be testing something by them having multiple sign up paths. Which would make sense considering they say they are still in ‘Beta’. I think it is a pretty obvious thing that they ‘need’ to do and it looks like they will so I will stay tuned to see if they roll this out fully because i think all artists want to retain their old fan base. I think artists will be better served with a healthy and robust myspace so I’m not quick to throw punches at them and really do hope they build this thing right because i think the site looks great so far.

  4. there’s really not much difference. the new myspace still has the same basic problem as the old myspace–images, songs, ads, etc. all come from an infinite number of sources, so it comparatively takes ages to load any myspace page or navigate anywhere. it’s still a total pain in the arse.

  5. This is what happens when you put all of your eggs in somebody else’s basket There is no reason for a band to try to build something on Myspace. Bands should have their OWN website, and spend time building a community with their own fans there. It’s time better spent: you’re connecting directly to the fans you already have; you control what happens to your content; you know any fans there are actually interested in you & are not just other bands interested in leaching your fans; and on & on. And don’t give me the “web sites cost too much money” crap. Mine costs me less than $50 per year. Your bass player will spend more than that on beer this coming Friday.

  6. Clark, great points…this is what the current platforms don’t provide. However, building my own website is not the answer…I need network effects and want to fish where the fish are. If one of these platforms would build the tools and analytics to tell us who our fans are, which ones are REAL fans and then give us the ability to transact with the fans (not just stream for free)…ALONG with a commitment to not charge us to message our fans (Facebook bastards!) then I’m in…..hell, ALL artists will be in…why don’t platforms realize this?

  7. This article is bunk. Myspace had to completely shit can the old code. YEAH, they had to start over. YEAH, it’s Beta – they aren’t selling advertising yet.
    Your own web page, Clark? 2004 called and wants it’s strategy back. You HAVE to have a social element to grow your fans. It’s competitive, but MySpace’s user experience will be an attraction to the young set. If you play Allman Brothers covers, they might not care about you.

  8. I never said one should not participate in social media. What I said was don’t put all of your eggs in one basket. Not having your own web site is like playing a gig with borrowed gear. It’s just foolish. I know several bands that had their pages shut down at critical times by FB (and MySpace, back in their heyday), and because they had no other web presence their fans had no place else to look for info. Most of them were able to get back online in a couple of weeks, once they managed to prove they had not violated the EULA, but for a few it took months. As a result release parties flopped, gigs were under-attended, and fans were lost.
    I am on FB, MySpace, Twitter & a crapload of other places, and have thousands of friends, followers, etc. Yet when I release something new only about 2% of the non-face-to-face sales result from social media. The other 98% of the sales come through my web site or via a link in my email newsletter. I know this because I use the analytic tools that come free with the web hosting service and with the email service. (Which is MailChimp, by the way. Up to 2,000 names for free, and a very powerful list management tool. A great alternative to paying FB $$ for direct contact with your fans.)
    Each of the social services is a tool – just a single tool in what should be a very large toolbox. None of them are a panacea or an alternative for hard work. For every Rebbecca Black type success story on a social platform there are literally millions of failures. (And Rebecca Black has a web site, incidentally.) If you look at the vast majority of DIY successes that are truly earning a living from music and not living with their mom, you’ll find that in addition to using social media thay have a web site. (Okay, Psy doesn’t have one. Feel free to shout “FAIL!! PWNED! ROFLMAO at YOU!! In YOUR face!” if it will make you feel better. Then go find ten more high profile artists without a website.) Towards the end of the MySpace glory days searching for fans there was akin to a carpenter looking for clients at the carpenters union. And FB has such a high noise floor that you need to run the risk of alienating people with the frequency of your posts, if you want to be noticed. If you have an email newsletter list that you manage properly you will have very little problem being heard by your fans.
    Building a web site is no more difficult than setting up a profile on some of these social sites. Use WordPress on a 3rd party host, grab some plugins, and you now have your own site – you are in control for as long as you want. And for crying out loud, manage your fan list with something other that Facebook or MySpace.
    Rod, you can mock my methods, but I can tell you that a web site & email newsletter/fan list management are components of my larger strategy, which is working. I am a full-time musician; I own a very nice house & new cars; I’ve put my kids through private school; and I don’t play covers. Especially Allman Brothers. My strategy has allowed me to build a relatively small but loyal fan base in the USA, Australia, parts of Europe, and parts of Asia. I’m not a star nor am I rich. But I am doing pretty well. And have been, as a musician, most of my adult life. Maybe you have far greater success with your method. Maybe you party with Gotye (who has a web site) & maybe you drive a Lamborghini; I don’t know. Nor will I presume. Please return the courtesy. And yes, your point about this new Myspace being in beta should be considered when figuring out where this might fit into a strategy.
    Anyway, my bottom line is don’t get your hopes too high for Myspace. If it comes around & will fit in as a part of your plan, use it. But don’t count on it saving you.

  9. Clark is completely right on. It’s 2013 (not 2004) and your own website is still relevant. I hate it when I want to find out more about a band and have to piece together all the info from several sites such as facebook or bandcamp. Recently I saw a local band on a local tv show and they didn’t have their own site with all their info. So guess what, I don’t know where they are playing next so I won’t be going to their shows anytime soon because none of that info is on their social sites.

  10. This guy is a moron. How do you know all (or any) of the peeps you are connected to on Old Space even want to be on New Space? I’ll tell you how: There’s a function for inviting your friends from the old site to the new one. And it’s not that hard to find. Try opening your eyes and using your noodle – navigating New MySpace ain’t all that hard!
    Oh, and one other thing: Your supposed to get fans for yourself, not have someone else do it for you.

  11. where are my old messages? i am looking for the emails i had and can’t find them on the new site… please help!

  12. Not only fans and friends are deleted.
    Photoalbum (although it tells that it is transferring photos from the old account), videos, and what is the most anooying – MESSAGES.
    For an artist, it was not only a place to show your music to fans, but it was also important to TALK to people.
    All previous beautiful comments are deleted.
    New Myspace does not look like a website for personal interaction.
    Even I would be a superstar, I still would like to talk to people who listen to my music, and moreover, I had FRIENDS on Myspace.
    Now it looks like only marketing stuff.

  13. The fans have all been transferred in… The reason they weren’t in the beginning was because of the classic site still being in operation and the current site being in a beta period. All is in place. You can log in, find all of your friends and transfer pictures and playlists over from the past.

  14. That is why you have open, federated, protocols like RSS, StatusNet, XMPP, IRC, **the humble link**, etc., and independent networking protocols like Twitter, etc.
    The web IS A NETWORK. That’s what it’s designed for.
    Clark is EXACTLY RIGHT. The whole point is to build your OWN site and connect with other sites. People who buy into big sites like facebook/myspace/googleplus just don’t get that they’re building SOMEONE ELSE’s SITE for them.

  15. my space sucks a@$ now i did like it till it tried being like twitter took all my picks and my playlists i will be deleting it for sure now before the change i would go on my myspace almost everyday not now DELETE

  16. Good, now how I convince those I haven’t spoken to in ages of uploading the photos or rewriting the blog entries just for my selfish pleasure?
    P.S. It’s “its”, not “it’s”.

  17. The new Myspace is so fucking shit!
    Everything just got deleted! All the messages, photos, and videos! Thanks alot Justin Timberlake you cunt.
    See you on FB

  18. Yeah they pretty much killed myspace when bands started to sign up…now look at it..it’s all about bands not a real community, i miss the funny blogs the banter the charts where the best blog would be number one.. that kind of thing.

  19. I had my page saved in my favorites for easy access, Now the address directs me to someone else page. WTF?

  20. Talk about making a bad situation worse. Prior to the Murdoch purchase of MySpace, it was easy to browse by country, genre or name. I connected with over 1,000 bands, many of whom have gone on to great careers (Mumford & Sons being one). Murdoch took over and destroyed the search engine that made that possible and MySpace got hijacked by the majors who shoved whoever they were pushing down your throats and subsequently made browsing difficult if not impossible, but at least you were able to connect with new bands who were following bands I knew so there was at least the six degrees of separation thing. Now that’s gone completely and I haven’t a clue as to why MySpace even exists. The original purpose was to create a forum where bands (and photographers and artists) could showcase, and if you were interested, go to their sites to find out more as well as follow them. It was hoped that the new buyers of MySpace (gotten by way of a fire-sale from Murdoch) would at least see the damage Newscorp did, but no. Now even the hackneyed search engine is gone. Worse than shooting yourself in the foot, it’s committing suicide. Nobody is benefitting from this change. It was a bad idea, poorly thought out and they need to just quit.

  21. Everyone that Myspace once stood for is gone now.
    Didn’t actually believe the old Myspace was taken down until I looked around the Internet. Apparently in early June they decided to trash everything that was on the old Myspace while keeping the ‘new’ Myspace intact. Friends and family who had their old profiles up from 2005 or so are gone.
    Facebook is okay, but I wish their search engine was more like old Myspace.

  22. I wonder how long it’ll take the new myspace owners to return to old myspace or change. It’s obvious it’s failing. It’s kind of like when a bad movie is put out, ex Gigli. Did no one really see that it was bad until it had been released? Or are company execs and higher ups unable to do the wise thing and cut their losses, report a mistake, and redo?
    It’s like simply project ten years into the future, myspace on this path will be replaced by the facebooks, newspace, match.coms, etc, whatever that pops up… Or just make a change now myspace, say you made a mistake, return to how you used to be, let bands be on there with their old fan base or even ‘forcibly’ make ppl connect to musicians and pages of the sort, allow people to freely edit their pages, allow others to say they use it ‘for connecting’ but actually for dating also, and in ten years, your simplicity, creativity, and freedom that allows people spend a whole weekends-if not longer- trying to customize their page, blogs, and post perfectly, will keep you alive vs all the other sites including facebook.

  23. What happened to my music on MySpace that I worked so hard to do. It’s a mystery! I’ve lost my fan base too & all my connections? Can anyone help me please? I can’t find where it tells me to add music then it says music player not available in your area, & also facebook connection won’t work even though it is turned on in settings! It’s so bloody frustrating! Can anyone help me?

  24. Most likely just wait until they find a method to integrate the old server system (if it still exists) into the new one. Much like when photos went missing for a bit, then reappeared. Good luck though. Sorry for your loss?

  25. Myspace is far from dead. Since this article was written, I have signed into the new Myspace site and all my contacts are there as well as my photos and stuff. Some things take time to fix up. The problem is that we live in an age where we want everything right here, right now. The world doesn’t work that way.
    Regardless of how many people still use it or not, I will continue to use Myspace as my preferred music networking site until such time the site decides to shut down permanently.

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