Friday, June 14, 2013

Myspace's 9 Lives

Myspace is like a cat with 9 lives.
Doesn't it seem like it KEEPS "relaunching"?  Didn't this just happen earlier this year?  Is it déjà vu?  Are we in the movie Groundhog Day!?

Yet, I put away my apparent cynicism for a moment and open my mind to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this time is different for Myspace.  The once front-runner of social media networks, MySpace (notice the previously capitalized S in space, that they have now done away with) lost basically all its users to Facebook and has been trying to reinvent itself since. 

But new owners Tim and Chris Vanderhook seem to realize that you need to do a lot more than change the capitalization of an "S" to reinvent yourself and shake the "failed social network" stigma.  The new Myspace is embarking on additional paths for this relaunch.  Remaining true to its original shift from 2012 to a music-discovery service, Myspace is keeping the hip social-music aspect, but building on it.  The most promising new feature seems to be My Radio, a service similar to Pandora or iTunes Radio, but that relies on crowd sourcing for the stations rather than user-customized algorithms.  So, what does that mean?  Basically that every user, spanning from me, to a cool new band, to Justin Timberlake, will have their own station- turning us into mini-DJ's promoted by the site itself.  This seems to be a unique differentiator, but what isn't clear is how users will respond.  Only time will tell.

Additional features on the new Myspace range from necessary standards (like its mobile device apps) to some more random offerings (like a user-friendly GIF maker). 

You'll soon see commercials for the new Myspace that feature a bunch of hip looking twenty-somethings dancing and running around to an upbeat music.  Doesn't seem like anything we haven't seen before, but the company is putting $20 million into this ad campaign reaching broadcast, radio and digital platforms. 

But, you know what?  I am typically one to root for an underdog.  And even given its former glory, that is really what Myspace has become. 

Will you try the new Myspace?  Do you think Myspace has a chance this time?  Share your thoughts below.

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