I’m an American, which means I love a good comeback story (especially when the resurrected second-time hero has the potential to lend a hand to independent musicians and bands.) Whenever there’s a down-and-out soul on the verge of slipping into oblivion, my American-born empathy for a second chance rises to the surface.
There was a time when Myspace appeared to be gasping for its last breath, drowning in the sea of social networks. But it seems the once sinking social platform has been thrown a lifeline from Justin Timberlake . Purchased in June by Specific Media ( Timberlake’s media investment group) from Ruppert Murdoch scandal-ridden NewsCorp, the once down and out social network is receiving a facelift, but what, exactly, will Myspace look like when the bandages come off? Colin Petrie-Norris, the international director of Specific Media hopes to take Myspace back to its music roots by using Timerlake’s star power to attract other big name musical acts. The full revamp will attempt to bring commercial entertainment more online real estate, while still having to cater to other lesser known artists. It appears that Fox still has a hand in the direction of the social network as Fox Digital Studio has just announced they will distribute a 7 episode comedy show exclusively on Myspace. But where does this leave the struggling indy bands trying to get a foothold? It appears that the focus of “music” has left the little guy behind.
In the early and mid 2000’s, having a Myspace page was an obligatory marketing tool for independent musicians, but artists have followed their fans over to Facebook and shifted their marketing efforts to more music-oriented websites like Bandcamp.com and Reverbnation. As the Myspace team re-purposes the ailing social network by injecting a heavy dose of corporate commercial entertainment into the mix, it feels like the indy musician is once again getting pushed aside. But does it matter? The digital landscape has more fertile soil for the independent musician than Myspace. Perhaps only time will tell if the new-and-improved Myspace will be a contender again in the social network arena. The fierce fight for social media users may be aimed more at the consumer than at the indy musician. I love a good comeback, but I certainly don’t know if there is one on the horizon.