Tuesday, 30 December 2008

One reason why I'll be happy when Myspace takes it's final breath

Dear Bands, Solo Artists and budding lazy musicians,

Contacting fellow artists via Myspace to compliment their work and enquire about gig swaps and support slots is great, I applaud the initiative. However, before making such bold steps into the world of electronic communication, I plead that you take a second to check the page of your intended recipient to check that they are in fact a band!

Now I'm not quite arrogant enough to believe everyone knows what a Big Scary Monster is, but I am hopeful enough to think that you artists, the truly creative ones in this sordid little industry of ours, have enough ingenuity to be able to tell a record label from a fellow music maker. It's not that I don't like hearing from you, it's just that I don't have the musical talent, time or geographic capability to play a show with you.

The number of such enquiries received this year acts only as further proof that the beloved Myspace model which has seen us all through many a dark night over the past 4 or 5 years is on it's last legs. The spam potential and the shear number of people excitedly happy to take advantage of it has driven the last few 'real' users away, leaving a ghost town occupied by those who refuse to believe the dream is dead, and a small army of ugly girls who like to get their tits out for the cameras and collect friends like Pokemon characters.

So what do we do now? Every band, record label and other musical entity under the sun has a page, and I imagine will do for a very long time still. Google rankings are high, it's a one-stop-shop for information, music and video, but the user interaction of yesteryear is disappearing by the day. Is it really worth pursuing? Is there anything that can be done to bring the interest back?

Our digital distributor will soon be shipping all of our giftwrapped content off to Myspace for sale in their new online store which could prove to be an interesting new solution. With a page currently loaded with content, perhaps a little distractingly so, do we scrap that and go all-out for the 'money for nothing' digital sales cheques? Do we ditch the lot and opt for a page-tall "go to our website, boi" message, pushing everyone to the one small portal? Or do I continue to spend time and effort maintaining a page, mostly for the sake of spammers and a few shortsighted fools who'd like to play a gig with this consistently angry record label? My love for the third idea is dwindling, that's for sure.


SEANREID said...

I have to admit I've grown tired of myspace over the last year. I thought the "a small army of ugly girls who like to get their tits out for the cameras and collect friends like Pokemon characters" line was superb.

Kev said...


I still login to Myspace everyday but am constantly wondering why! Nothing but shit comments and crap emails... and don't even get me started on the friend requests!

Pretty much all of my friends who aren't connected with the music industry deleted their profiles and moved to Facebook a long time ago

saam keephopeinside said...

Most of my friends stopped using MySpace in early 2007 or so. Not too long after facebook became open to non-university people in the UK anyway.

I think it's still useful for bands and stuff until Facebook improves its musical interface. The "fan" pages aren't as good as the MySpace musical pages. Although it's sodding ridiculous that MySpace have removed the ability to download songs. I don't understand what that's about at all.

Adam said...

Bands would be pretty stuck without myspace! I know there are other ways of promoting and networking but myspace is one of the best. Thanks to the site i have discovered some of my favorite "pocket bands" that i would of never heard of. Surely as a independent label you would be sad to see it die out? It's a lifeline for unsigned bands.

Kev said...

I would be sad to see it go, and I don't think it will do for a very long time. As Saam said, the Facebook fan pages just aren't a good enough replacement and Reverbnation etc don't have the same profile.

From the point of unsigned bands, I think it's important that everyone continues to maintain Myspace pages but they're no longer the powerful sources they once were. I'd recommend putting music and gig dates on there, but that's it really. Use your time elsewhere, somewhere you can still interact with fans and not just get bogged down in spam

dan said...

Absolutely agree. Its weird that what made it so awesome is now its biggest annoyance (the interaction, and connectivity). Now its just a decent CMS/website (that also has the advantage of being part of a network - I've chanced a listen on many bands who are "top friends" just out of boredom) for bands to have an easy point of reference when directing real life people to their sites.

"check us out on myspace! myspace.com/bandname" is so easy for people to remember.

Also, I stopped using it not 'cos of the spam (though that is annoying) but the incessant Captcha stuff that makes it take so long to actually do anything.

have you checked out virb? If it had the profile it would be an awesome alternative

John Lawson said...

I still think Myspace is a useful tool, but it's the eejits who don't know how to work it (bands - do your research before you contact a label! Sheesh!) or just plain misuse it, who need to bite the proverbial dust.

What do you BSM readers reckon? Is there a better, slightly more pro music-related Myspace killer out there yet? Or loads of little ones?

Kev said...

I haven't checked out Virb yet, Dan. Should give that one a look soon

Someone told me about a site in the US which is growing at a really quick rate, but nobody over here seems to be using it yet. I'll have to double check but I think it was called imeem.

In terms of connecting with people, Facebook is still pretty good, although obviously lacking in a few areas. I'm getting into Twitter, and really need to start work properly on Last.fm sometime

dan said...

Not sure if last.fm is worth the effort. Who really pays attention to anything other than how their music tastes are being scrobbled?