Jettisoning users quicker than the LibDems are losing voters, MySpace was once a fantastic resource for bands, fans and promoters.
Its appeal was fairly simple: it provided an easy way for music lovers to check out new bands, it was a great for bands to keep in touch with their fans (and vice versa), and for the music industry it proved a great place to check out upcoming new acts. We loved it.
Trashed by Murdoch
In 2005, the stupidly rich Murdoch and his News Corporation gang got their grubby hands on MySpace and it was downhill all the way from there.
Seemingly looking for the quick buck, MySpace was systematically wrecked beyond repair, as already slow-loading pages were burdened with yet more adverts, tie-ins and other unwanted guffs.
In the end it got so bad that page load times were starting to be measured in a geological timescale, sending frustrated users towards the welcoming open arms of rivals.
Such was Murdoch’s desperation to milk MySpace for all it was worth, download-slowing adverts even appeared on the official mobile apps.
Worst of all, all the effort that bands had put into customising their profiles were trashed as an unwanted ‘upgrade’ washed away their hard work away like a Murdoch tsunami of crud, with the ‘improved’ site constantly throwing up random errors and lost pages.
As the site grew ever more unreliable, bands, fans and promoters all left the sinking ship leaving a vast void behind that has never been adequately filled by the slew of related sites that were looking to feed off its bloated carcass.
Some hope. At last
Happily, it looks like MySpace might finally be put out of its misery, with reports that venture capital firms and investors are expected to be making offers to News Corp for the ailing site.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that News Corp is trying to squeeze at least $100 million out of the sale, although with its user base rapidly dwindling to a handful of lost souls wondering where the party has gone, we’d be amazed if anyone put such a high value on it.
The saddest – and most frustrating – part of all this is that when MySpace was good, it was very good indeed.
We also work as promoters for a London club and for years MySpace was absolutely invaluable for discovering new bands and making contact with new acts.
Nothing has appeared since to offer that mix for music fans and we can still see a future for a stripped down, lean and mean music site that echoes the original.
Facebook and Twitter may have conquered the web, but neither of them can offer such an integrated, band-based package that a good MySpace profile could.
So, although we’ve just about given up all hope of ever seeing MySpace rise from the ashes, we’re still clinging on to the hope that someone with the right vision can tap into its core values and give us back something of the once-great service it once was.
Or, at least, something that bands won’t be embarrassed to use again.