MySpace Music: The Digital Undead
In social media years, 2005 represents an entirely different lifetime. MySpace was flourishing. People everywhere were taking mirror pictures, customizing layouts, and filling out surveys to post or repost. Most notably, it was used as a valuable resource for music. Recently, MySpace has made an attempt to rise from the grave of social irrelevance, in an attempt to reclaim their previous niche: Music.
MySpace Music was successful for a number of reasons. Artists were able to establish and communicate to a measurable audience, as well as increase exposure. Additionally, pages were simple to set up and maintain. Because of this, pages were able to provide consistent updates to keep fans actively engaged. Previously existing music sites faltered in comparison due to one missing element: Personal connection. Users were able to add songs to their profile, send messages, and post on the page of their favorite artists. At the time MySpace was the only site combining social networking and media connections, successfully.
Stage One: Infection
In the beginning, Facebook was strictly reserved for college students and was somewhat void of interesting features. At that time, MySpace seemed to best represent the interests of users everywhere. It began to innovate through the inclusion of several different multimedia features. However, the additional components came at the sacrifice of speed. As time progressed, pages were taking longer to load with the inclusion of videos, elaborate backgrounds, games, and other interactive features. MySpace was officially infected.
Stage Two: Coma
The MySpace membership had rapidly departed. What was once a vibrant online social community now had a post-apocalyptic wasteland kind of presence by comparison. Users were leaving the crowded website in favor of a simpler social media destination with a blue logo. Despite the disbanding community, MySpace music pages maintained a pulse for quite sometime. These pages still represented a well-known source for new music for the time being.
Somewhere between the evolution of Facebook pages and the advent of music-based sites, MySpace music began losing rank and relevance. The vast majority of social media users pronounced the site “dead”, and moved on.
Stage Three: Transformation
In early December 2012, the web was re-introduced to a long forgotten domain. MySpace was reemerging, yet something was different. It returned with a fixation, as well as an insatiable hunger for living members. The new focus revolves around the previously successful music element.
After the transformation, MySpace wiped out existing music fans from artist pages. Entertainment pages are now faced with the task of rebuilding and reconnecting.
The new MySpace is latching on to events and various public figures for survival. Among others, Justin Timberlake invested in the MySpace revival, and was appointed Creative Director. Additionally, the Bud Light brand broadcast concert performances on MySpace taken at the Bud Light Hotel Super Bowl party. While endorsements and promotions of this sort are generally expected, they have yet to evoke widespread social media changes.
The pending success or eternal rest of MySpace is yet to be determined. Eight years ago, they were a prime source for music news and sharing. Since then, music sites such as Spotify, Pandora, Songza, bandcamp, and SoundCloud have each bridged gaps and innovated far beyond previous (or even current) MySpace capabilities.
Because MySpace is a Zombie.