Don’t look now, but Myspace is back — for real this time. The old social network is now Myspace (no capital S), a full-scale music destination designed to bring artists and fans together.
“When we bought it in 2011, it was so mismanaged, I don’t know what it was,” says Tim Vanderhook, who purchased Myspace with his brother Chris and now serves as its CEO. “But we bought Myspace to return it back to what it was so great at, which was a platform for creative expression, promotion, and discovery. We’ve talked a lot about Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, Adele, all these artists who were discovered on Myspace. They were able to promote themselves and put out their brand. When you look at the intersection between all three of those things, that’s what we were trying to get back to. Ultimately we want to make a home for artists.”
For a lot of people who were just getting into the music business during Myspace’s first wave, it’s a welcome return. “I really got my start on Myspace back in ’06,” superproducer and rapper Hit-Boy told EW. “I reached out to everybody I thought could help me, and then people started reaching out to me. I just kept it going, and I would put new music on my page all the time… A lot of people I met on myspace back in ’05 or ’06 I’m still friends with today.”
Several other high profile artists have already signed on. In addition to Justin Timberlake, who operates as the creative director and has an ownership stake in the company, Pharrell Williams, Kenna, Mac Miller, Iggy Azaela, Charli XCX, Ciara, Schoolboy Q, and a host of others have already gotten involved by posting special GIFs (Williams seems especially adept at this), showing up in videos, and programming radio stations for Myspace’s newly-launched mobile app.
The desktop version of Myspace still lets you build a profile and connect to other people (they’ve even retained the old Top 8 section), but now features a streaming player with a Spotify-comparable library of songs. “We have the largest streaming library in the world,” Chris Vanderhook told EW. “We have over 53 million songs, with all the majors and indies, plus we have five million unsigned artists who upload millions of songs. That’s what gives us the largest library in the world.”
You can’t take your music with you on the app, but you do have access to something called Myradio, which essentially provides access to millions of individually-curated stations that will be programmed by both superstars and regular folk. “Myradio gives everybody in the world their own radio station,” says Tim Vanderhook. “You become the programmer, and your own curatorial tastes come out. You can tune into Justin Timberlake to hear what he listens to, music that inspired him in the studio, artists he collaborated with, and any other musical influences. The artists are programming for you.”
Check out myspace’s relaunch video here, and dig around the new features (including a technology that lets you start typing artist and song names without the tyranny of a search box) over at Myspace.com.
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