Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

What’s next for MySpace?

All told, it has been a bad week for Rupert Murdoch. There’s no end in sight to the mobile phone hacking allegations which have engulfed the media mogul’s News of the World title and which have led to its closure. …

Fri, Jul 8, 2011, 10:00

   

All told, it has been a bad week for Rupert Murdoch. There’s no end in sight to the mobile phone hacking allegations which have engulfed the media mogul’s News of the World title and which have led to its closure.

Then, there’s the matter of a big hole in the News International balance sheet next to the entry marked “MySpace”.

Back in 2005, Murdoch paid $580 million for the social networking site. Last week, he flogged it for $35 million to advertising company Specific Media and singer/actor Justin Timberlake. While News International still hold a five per cent stake, the site is no longer their problem.

Yet you have to wonder if Myspace is really a problem at all. Yes, there are snapper, sexier and snazzier social networking sites out there. Yes, Myspace is one ugly, curmudgeonly bastard compared to its peers. Yes, Myspace is the butt of many jokes.

But the site still has traction, especially when it comes to music. Even though many acts have migrated to Soundcloud and Bandcamp (and some favour ReverbNation), most bands still maintain their Myspace page as much out of habit as anything else.

Google a band’s name and their Myspace site will still feature in the first couple of results. Some brands would pay good money for such SEO magic.

The trick for Myspace’s new owners is to leverage this music stickability into something which can compete with the new guns. Due to how the market has fragmented, no new site has yet come along to rival Myspace’s appeal in its pomp when it came to music.

While it’s unlikely to ever return to its 80 million users’ hey-day, Myspace could yet rekindle some of its appeal. At the very least, it might well provide some new friends for Tom.

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