Is Myspace Really the Comeback Kid?

Illustration: Phoenix Credit: Michael Lorenzo

Today’s social media landscape is dominated by a handful of players. Twitter owns micro-blogging, LinkedIn is the enterprise giant and Facebook has a lock on interpersonal sharing. Facebook’s rise came at the expense of Myspace, which began as a wildly popular social hub that never really figured out its core purpose. Its lack of direction was ultimately its undoing, as other services swooped in to pick apart its empire. Once the cool kid on the block, it’s been relegated to has-been status. Still, there’s a chance that Myspace could rise from the ashes.

Anatomy of a Breakdown
At one time, Myspace was a way for local bands to gain wider exposure and even become household names in some cases, as was the case with Arctic Monkeys. If you’re old enough to remember, this was Myspace’s true purpose at the outset. They eventually became an $800 million dollar a year company. How did they fail? Let’s count the ways. First off, they failed to invest key resources into staying on top. More importantly, they never figured out a way to adequately monetize their popularity and sold out to News Corp. at an inopportune juncture.

Myspace Resurgent
During their much-publicized decline, Myspace made every wrong move in the book and was eventually sold by News Corp. to Specific Media in June of 2011. Now, they’re focusing on rebuilding their business as a music and media powerhouse. It’s too bad that last.fm, Spotify and Pandora have eaten their lunch since then. Despite this, there aren’t that many ways for artists to go about building a brand socially online. There are plenty of people that think Myspace can step in and fill this gaping void. None other than co-owner Justin Timberlake believes Myspace can do it.

Changes and a New Focus
The new management at Myspace knows that they have to hit out of the park to right the ship. That’s why they’re taking the relaunch of the platform so seriously. The teaser trailer for the new Myspace emphasizes the star power of the new owner and suggests a full revamp of the UI, as well as plenty of new features and music enjoyment capabilities. Myspace is remaining mum on what exactly the refresh will entail, but they’ve made sure to stress that a focus on the mobile sphere is part of the overall package.

Will It Work?
With the right marketing, Myspace is quite capable of achieving its former glory. What sunk them in the first place was a lack of direction. With Timberlake and Specific Media at the helm, they now have that direction. With so much of our media needs being met by the web these days, a social-heavy portal where music is the priority and networking is second place makes sense. Myspace still sees unique monthly views in the 25 million range, which is impressive. Considering their recent history, they’ve got nowhere to go but up.

Lessons to be Learned
Whether or not Myspace succeeds, there’s something to be learned from its fall and potential return to prominence. The first lesson is that web traffic volume alone isn’t enough to ensure success. The second lesson is to always keep an eye on the competition and adapt to changing business climates. And the third lesson is to never forget your roots and your focus. Myspace ultimately learned these lessons the hard way. The most important lesson, of course, is that it’s easier to gain a customer than to win one back.

Randy Bowden

Randy Bowden

Principal Partner at bowden2bowden llc
An executive who after spending 26 years in the corporate world in various marketing roles within one of the largest utilities in the nation, grew tired of the grind and sought a new challenge. Randy entered the non-profit market taking the position of Director of Marketing and Corporate Relations for a national organization, overseeing all brand and touch elements; print, web, TV and national convention. In 2010 Randy and his wife, Shalah, also a professional marketer formed bowden2bowden llc, a marketing and brand consultancy firm. Their extensive knowledge of marketing, branding, PR, advertising, promotions, relational & social networking can connect the client to targeted solutions. Clients receive exceptional creative executions and solid branding strategies giving them a real competitive advantage. Randy writes weekly for their bowden2bowden blog.
  • http://www.facebook.com/carlyalyssathorne Carly Alyssa Thorne

    I agree be open and always be aware of your surroundings in terms of other Social Media Platforms. I really do hope MySpace does succeed, I think it could be a really great place for Artists as a Social Media Platform… I wish them much success.

    • Randy Bowden

      Thank you Carly for the input and agree, it could be a shinning star for up and coming artist!

  • http://www.facebook.com/msmir Miriam Rachel

    I think MySpace has a chance at making it big for artists. If the direction is going the right way it can become very successful! I hope so anyway.

    • Randy Bowden

      Totally agree with you Miriam. It appears that several of the social sites have let this “area” slide a bit and if done right, they can come back!

  • Michelle

    I never used MySpace but it will be interesting to see what happens.

    • http://twitter.com/bowden2bowden Randy Bowden

      It will Michelle, they could fill a need!

  • http://www.cendrinemarrouat.com Cendrine Marrouat

    It’s interesting to note that FB could actually become the new MySpace before its new rebirth… ;-)

    • jimdougherty

      I hope MySpace re-launches before that happens!