February 9, 2009

The Next MySpace for Musicians

Posted in Web tagged , , , , , , at 9:02 pm by Andrew McMillen

I’ve stopped logging on to MySpace. The only reason I’d continued to check it was to read bulletins posted by bands I enjoy.

But then the noise became deafening.

Too much effort for too little reward.

Processor-intensive Flash ads swarmed my homepage.

And instead of including bulletin pagination, to allow me to view 25 or 50 or 100 bulletins on a page, they kept with the original model of dividing bulletins into groups of 10. Each page yielded a new set of flashing ads. Awesome.

But that’s in the past. Bye, MySpace.

So if you’re a band I listen to or a band who thinks that I might like to listen to you, there’s a question you should be asking yourself. How are you going to connect with me, now?

How are you going to coerce me to join your tribe?

Or, more importantly: where is your tribe going to converge?

I don’t friend bands on Facebook, because Facebook is for human friendships.

I rarely visit band websites, as I’ve discussed.

If I don’t visit your Facebook profile or your website, it’s going to be tough to convince me to join your mailing list. And mailing lists aren’t the ideal method for artists to broadcast from, as it’s one-to-one. Not one-to-many like the sense of community you felt when browsing a band’s MySpace profile.

MySpace succeeded for several years because it provided the tools for musicians to share their craft and assemble a community in a central location.

But if the community is dispersing, where are they going to meet next?

Where is the next MySpace for musicians?

Finding a suitable answer for this question is as important for me, the music fan and critic, as it is for the artists who want me to hear their music.

I want a central hub to connect with hundreds of artists I admire and enjoy. I want to listen, to follow, to gain an insight into their recording process and international tours and personalities.

MySpace is no longer the answer. It’s old tech.

I don’t care about exclusive album streams. I don’t care about digital music store partnerships.

I just want to know when my favourite artists have recorded new music. When they’re touring. What other people think of their music.

Twitter is not the answer. Too shallow. When it comes to musicians, it’s a case of too little data spread too thin. I’ll happily read essays on subjects that I’m interested in.

If you’re a musician, I don’t particularly want to know what you’re doing all day, every day. Just the important stuff. Specific, anticipated, relevant. New music, tours, reviews, videos.

Again, these kinds of periodic updates could be delivered via mailing list. But I’m not going to go around visiting band websites and joining lists.

Like I said, this is as important a question for me, the music fan, as it is for the artists and labels.

Build something remarkable. Something worth sharing. Somewhere worth returning to. And I’ll be there.

Advertisements

5 Comments

  1. TDW said,

    Maybe this your chance to start a new thing? Although personally I think the future of MySpace is strong in music, just not in regular social networking, people have clearly made the decision to jump to Facebook. I think MySpace may be a little too ingrained musically for people to make a quick jump. I personally would like to see a networking site for bands and artists that is somewhat of a mixture between MySpace and Last.fm. As in, everyone can make their own pages, have their music streaming for free (at lower quality obviously), photos, videos, bulletins etc., but it should be better suited for gigs, especially in terms of mixing the bands together, and people who aren’t in music can become fans and there’s the whole “recommending listening” thing like Last.fm has. I love that about Last.fm, it’s introduced me to a lot of cool stuff.

  2. Great point about LastFM. I visit it most days, but it’s currently too clunky to keep tabs on my favourite artists.

    Why should music be necessarily streamed at lower quality? Seems like old media trickery to me.

    Internet law: if you attempt to limit or restrict something, people will find a way around it, if only to spite the restrictors.

  3. Glenn said,

    I agree wholeheartedly with your post, Andrew. While I love the concept of what MySpace could offer, I hate the site, the ads, the spam — basically everything about the site, and thus I refuse to use it.

    I am generally wary of social networking sites aimed at a specific demographic… while I realize things like Friend Feed merge many other sites, I don’t like the idea of my interests being spread so thin; a truly effective, music-specific hub, however, would definitely be the exception.

  4. Stephen said,

    I think Last.fm could it. It already has artist pages … the trick is delivering those artist pages into the hands of the artist. Also, when you have multiple artists with the same name, how does that work — that’s one thing that last.fm has not yet grappled with successfully.

    However, for me, this solution would be ideal.

  5. hunz said,

    It’s such a hard one. I’m forced to use anything that’s popular so that anyone who uses “insert current social network trend” here know that I am about. The big thing for me is not what to use it’s making sure what I blog about gets automatically updated to “insert current social network trend” so I look like I’m active. I personally wish it was just .rss feeds in a reader .. boring? sure ..

    I just read a massive article on how to use twitter better .. Gosh, people take the discovery out of everything these days T_T.

    Love the posts.


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: