Last week, as MTV’s Catfish went to commercial break an old friend from middle school visited me. A lot had changed since I had last seen him and it seems as though he was ready to attempt a second chance at success.
This friend was Myspace.
The commercial begins with this statement gracing the screen: “This is Myspace,” before showing many hip musicians such as Ciara, Pharrell and Mac Miller partying in a modernly decorated room of white. At one point Whiz Kalifia spray paints ‘welcome to the neighborhood,’ and before more punk rock anarchy ensues, musicians say into the camera: “Myspace.” “Myspace.” “Myspace.”
When an old friend tells you how their ready to take their life into a new direction sometimes their announcement about new beginnings can be met with a forced smile and inner grimace.
Seven years ago, after Myspace and the ever eclipsing Facebook had been competing for the title of the ultimate social network it had become obvious to most of the public that Facebook had won. Myspace is dead, became a phrase very popular in the public lexicon and having a profile on the social network was now considered uncool.
However people seem to forget that not only was Myspace a groundbreaking social network, but also a revolutionary platform for unsigned bands and already relevant pop artist to promote their music and gain new followers. Thankfully after its death and possible revival, Myspace is attempting to rebrand itself as an alternative to sites such as Spotify and Pandora.
As Christian Park, the company’s vice president of global marketing states “Myspace didn’t really do anything wrong-it just lost its focus”.
An important partner of the new Myspace is non other than superstar Justin Timberlake, who purchased Myspace for $35 million in 2011 – to which Park’s notes “Justin’s involvement is pretty deep. He’s certainly not a micro-manager, but he has a strong point of view”. SingerKeyboardist Kenna was also brought on board by Timberlake to work as a creative executive, where they use their connections to bring artists out to support Myspace.
If we were looking at the two forms of immortal creatures that our sweeping the nation right now we would find Vampires and Zombies. If the new Myspace fails it will be treated as a Zombie, a dull corpse that reminds its old fans of something that use to be animated. However, if it can prove itself to be a sexy vampire with style and sleek it may see a second life. To do this the site will have to embrace its power in music marketing.