There’s something to be said for coming back from the dead. Zombies have a coolness all of their own.
Myspace relaunched January of this year. The question is, will it entice Reverbnation, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and Facebook users back into the fold?
What myspace needs to do is keep what worked from the old model and get rid of the junk, and that appears to be what they have achieved.
To illustrate, let's contrast a band's page from the old and new Myspace layouts. For arguments sake, we'll use a little known band like the Foo Fighters.
Foo Fighters Old Myspace:
Foo Fighters New Myspace:
Easy to navigate.
Let’s take a look at old Myspace’s good and bad points:
The big reason Myspace stands apart from Facebook is Music. With a focus on music, Myspace is simply better than Facebook. Bands and artists can share songs, find other, similar genre bands to play with, contact venues and record industry people and promote the heck out of themselves. Bands actually got empowered to promote and sell their own stuff and the music industry changed almost overnight.
2. SEARCH FUNCTION
Myspace had better step up on this one - the best thing about Myspace search was the country/region/genre specific searches. It’s fun to find an Italian grunge band or a Chinese punk band. Hopefully this function will be revamped and resurrected.
3. USER FRIENDLY
The old, old, old Myspace was pretty user friendly. Simple. Easy to use. Then they tried to “sex it up” and ended up with a messy, still outdated but harder to use interface. The new Myspace should change all that.
When you are looking for your new favorite band, the last thing you want is “7 weird diet tips they never told you” or “play mafia mobster bingo casino NOW!” It’s just tacky.
However, Myspace NEW has an open, arty and rather minimalist but classy layout now with an awesome revamped player. Let’s hope the ads (when they appear) stay out of the way.
Myspace’s advantage is that it doesn’t have that creepy “I know everything about you and your cat” thing that Facebook has. If I was in Russia, I’d rather organise a “Free Pussy Riot” demonstration through Myspace than Facebook, if you know what I mean.
6. RELAUNCH ASKS TOO MUCH OF LAPSED USERS
If you were a band with say, 2,670 fans, and you had to log into the new Myspace and START AGAIN FROM SCRATCH WITH NO FANS WHATSOEVER....
Would you do it?
Why would Myspace do this to their loyal users who have stuck by them even though everybody else thinks that Myspace is “Sooo last Century”?
However, the only saving grace is this: When Myspace New is out of beta mode, a notification service is planned to be introduced telling you when your old Myspace friends join up with new Myspace.
That said, it’s a pretty lame service. It takes a fair amount of arrogance to think that just because the connections are from some time ago, that they are not worth anything to the band/artist. The transfer should be instant and automatic to save time and effort.
If this notification system / sync features are introduced and actually work without driving people mad, Myspace could very well be on the way up. If not, they are really, really dead this time.
So, in summation, Myspace’s future is looking up if they can be something unique and stick with the original idea for getting together independent musicians and making connections throughout the world.
If not, bands will just go to Reverbnation, Soundcloud or Bandcamp and be done with it.