MySpace Threatens To Make A Comeback: World Wonders If It’s Still 2005-Nazar Kamangar/bridge consulting blogs
There are certain sites small businesses instinctively think of when they start strategizing a social media marketing plan. At the top of the list would be Facebook and Twitter; at the bottom, dusty social media relics like MySpace. But that ranking may soon be shaken up. According to a new article in Music Week, MySpace is preparing to relaunch their brand, and hopes to be back on the rise by the end of the year.
MySpace was founded in 2003, and was an early success story in the world of social media marketing. In 2005 it was acquired by News Corporation for $580 million, and from then until early 2008, it was the most visited social networking site in the world. It seemed like nothing could stand in the way of its meteoric rise until another social media juggernaut called Facebook overtook it in April 2008, surpassing it in the number of unique worldwide users. Starting in May 2009, MySpace began a steady decline, shedding users even through several site redesigns. As they lost users, they lost employees; the once robust staff of 1,600 has been reduced to just 200 through layoffs.
MySpace, once a crown jewel in the internet’s crown, is now considered by many to be an obsolete dinosaur. People are derided for still having MySpace profiles. Its’ one lasting contribution to society seems to be the MySpace photo moniker bestowed on a certain type of posed, overly arty self-portrait. But even though it has fallen from a rank of number 1 to number 156, it still has 33.1 million unique U.S. visitors. And one thing these users largely have in common is their love of music.
People may have left MySpace in droves, but bands stayed behind, and true music fans stayed with them. MySpace has remained a place to interact with your favorite musicians and discover unsigned artists poised to become tomorrow’s next big thing. Perhaps this is why Justin Timberlake partnered with Specific Media, an online advertising firm to buy out MySpace for $35 million last June. Timberlake plans to take a significant role in the site’s new direction, which may include new consumer-facing activity rolling out at the end of this year.
While even the site’s new owners would probably have a difficult time describing exactly what we should expect, the smart money is that the new MySpace will embrace its new role as a niche destination, rather than an ell-encompassing social media site. If it focuses on cultivating its current musician presence, they could flourish as the go-to social media site for music lovers. While a boutique social media site doesn’t work as an advertising venue for everyone, it certainly has some cachet for certain business owners. Sellers and manufacturers of instruments and other musical equipment, concert venues, and even restaurants and bars with a live music presence should keep an eye on MySpace’s rebranding process for a chance to get in on the ground floor. Maybe we will once again party like it’s 2005.