The network that really imploded with musicians, businesses, and everyday people alike was founded in 2003 by Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson in Beverly Hills. Just under a year after its launch, it had a million unique visitors to the site. Among the reasons for its success for the way in which artists could update fans about shows, upload music and video, and have unique icons on their playlist bars. Artists began reaching out to each other like wild fire to swap shows – fans were able to interact quickly and give feedback, and bands that were able to spend a lot of time adding followers became successful. There were debates that some bands were being booked based on number of Myspace friends instead of talent, but the sheer number of internet users that were reachable was staggering; and the notion was understood by many. If a lot of users saw you as viable enough to follow, didn’t that mean you were able to draw a crowd in a club?
Reasons for a slow demise
Around 2007 and 2008, Myspace stuck to a very portal based strategy of gaining new members, while Facebook and Twitter were designing new features all the time to enhance the experience. In particular, Facebook was taken to well right out of the gate and retained high usership for a long period of time. Myspace users left the site in high numbers as advertisements went up and a high number of users felt that the website was just loaded down, even though cable and DSL internet speeds were the norm.
Sometimes when consumers are ready for something new and other shifts in the market take place, a website that is already high up on the totem pole is incapable of experimenting with high ad content – and it led to a crippling exit of traffic. Another element that led to the demise of the once social media giant is the many different applications rolled out for usage. The instant messaging and the video player were being accepted just fine, and then book lists, a karaoke machine, and different widespread varieties of advertising platforms came about and the bugs along with them. Users simply gave way to their loyalty, and things dwindled down in a major way.
Coming back in Resurrection mode
During 2011, there were losses posted that worrisome enough for Myspace to go on the market for full sale. The parent group News Corp was evidently worried about losses, and took action. Reportedly sold for 35 million to Specific Media, it did not glean anywhere near what it was bought for in 2005. Revamping it was going to take some serious work, and Justin Timberlake was a major defining touch in 2012 when he made public the changes underway that users would enjoy. One great additive was the music player in which users can quickly add tracks from sources like Pandora and other heavy hitters that are more valuable as partners instead of competitors.
The revamped mobile app, with better personalization abilities for channels was appreciated by users as well, and the site also abandoned the “classic” template, even though some users did not like losing their blog writings. In the current climate, the new Myspace could stand some challenges, but remains a strong playing, sharing, and networking “first stop”. While some say it may never be the same, the site will remain a viable player in the music arena of the internet, and a place to find new digital goods for any connoisseur.