Can ‘Justin Timberlake’ bring Myspace to music artists?
By Dr. Iris Mohr, Chief Editor and Founder, Marketing Fashionista
Myspace, the once popular social network site, is attempting to launch a comeback with the help of singer, Justin Timberlake and his new promotional video. Justin Timberlake is bringing his role from The Social Network to real life where he played Napster co-founder, Sean Parker, who was an early Facebook adviser. Timberlake, along with a bunch of other investors, bought Myspace last summer from News Corp. for $35 million, mostly in stock.
The teen social network at one point attracted millions to the site. Myspace reached its peak in 2008 with approximately 76 million U.S. visitors in October. However, Facebook was on the rise, and stole the spotlight. With time, Myspace became boring and heavily relied on advertising. This caused the speed at which the page loaded to become even slower. Not a good thing if you want to be #1 competitor!
Today, Myspace’s visitors have significantly declined since its peak in 2008. The site is the 43rd most visited web property in the U.S., which makes it fairly easy to see why a comeback was necessary. The relaunch looks a bit different with a combination of Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook. In its new promotional video, viewers get a glimpse into the new Myspace world. While the video promises that Myspace will start “totally from scratch,” can it, really?
What’s new is that the new site allows users to connect to Myspace through their Twitter or Facebook accounts, showing that they are not out to compete with the already hugely popular social network sites.
Entertainment continues to be a central focus of Myspace allowing users to find and play music and add photos and videos. But the question is whether the artists will reciprocate? Clark Fredericksen, spokesman for research firm eMarketer, which used to put out ad revenue estimates for Myspace, said “The new design certainly looks beautiful and it could certainly spur a lot of social interest. But there are going to be significant challenges for any company looking to enter the digital music space. You have a lot of entrenched players who are really successful.”
Justin Timberlake hopes that the new MySpace would make it easier for musicians who use social media out of necessity, rather than choice, to engage with fans. “But with every obstacle comes an opportunity and I see this, as it speaks to somebody like me, as bridging the gap,” said Timberlake. “It’s just bringing the connection that much closer while still making the artist feel comfortable that they can make their art, lock themselves in a room and torture themselves as they do, and still find a way to comfortably connect with their fan base.”
Says Chris Vanderhook, “We want the right people who want to use the platform, who want to find other creators, as well, and want to be able to actually collaborate and really foster a community of creators,” he said. “So it’s not about just the established, it’s also about the unsigned.”
So will big-name musicians jump on board? IF THEY MAKE MONEY. Only time will tell.
Tags: Facebook, Justin Timberlake, Myspace, Pinterest, promotional video, Sean Parker, The Social Network, Twitter