Still me crossing my fingers for Myspace 😛 This article is about a month old, though.
It looked good. Certainly good enough to stop a lot of the scoffing at the prospect of a Myspace comeback, especially as it was clear that the site wasn’t aiming to topple Facebook purely as a social network.
One of those elements is design: heavy on visuals, light on clutter, and with what looks like an elegant user interface to navigate through the site. Another element, though, is music discovery.
The new Myspace continues to compete with Facebook in some respects: artists create profiles on the site and post updates and content for their fans to watch, listen and share. But actually, its real competition is streaming music services like Spotify and Deezer.
It’s got a large catalogue of streaming music from Myspace’s previous incarnation – 42m tracks from signed and unsigned artists, says Tim – but wraps the artist profiles and social networking features around that, while also providing those artists with analytics on who’s listening to and sharing their music.
Or to put it another way: Myspace might not be able to be a bigger social network than Facebook, but it has a shot at being better at playing music than Facebook, and better at discovery, artist profiles and social features than Spotify.
Success in either or both those aims is far from guaranteed, and Specific Media has to figure out how to turn a profit while paying licence fees for all this streaming music. But it’s a genuine opportunity to be grasped.
For now, new Myspace is a website, albeit one with an interface that’s clearly designed as much with touchscreen tablets in mind as desktop computers. Chris says that while Myspace is “absolutely focused on mobile and tablets” a bit further down the line, the company isn’t divulging its plans just yet.
At this stage, there are a lot of unanswered questions about how the new Myspace will work, evolve and make money. Some of those will be answered next week when the beta opens up – people will be able to request an invite and join a virtual queue, or blag one from someone who’s already a member.
Music industry history is littered with startups and sites that talked up grand plans, then underdelivered.
The reason Specific Media’s plans for Myspace are being taken seriously is that thus far, the Vanderhooks have overdelivered: that video really did surprise people with the quality of the design, and the focus of the new site’s content.