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Artists beware: Myspace is going down

By Charlotta Hedman

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that any self-respecting musician must be on Myspace. Everyone still remembers that possibly fabricated Arctic Monkeys-success-story, but that was in 2005 when Myspace was all the rage.  As we know things move fast in cyberspace and in 2010 Myspace is turning into a ghost site filled with blog posts from 2008 and trolls who haven’t yet made their way over to 4chan.

Ever since Rupert Murdoch and his media empire bought the social networking site for $580m, things haven’t been looking too peachy for Myspace. According to TechCrunch Europe, visits to Myspace UK have halved during the last six months, leading the company to lay off staff in London. Visits went from 10 million at the start of the year to 5 million in June.

But that’s not the first sign of struggle. At its peak the company employed 150 staff in London, that was cut down to 50 in 2009. At the same time the company laid off 300 employees internationally and closed at least 4 offices outside the States.

According to TechCrunch Europe the company has also let go of its music manager and, as a result, the UK wing of MySpace Music, which was launched only last year.

Most big artists out there seem to prefer Facebook, Twitter and Youtube over Myspace. According to data complied by Sandbox.fm top 20 artists like Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry made an average of 25.5 Facebook status updates in the first 28 days of June, 81.9 tweets, and just 3.4 MySpace blog posts.

Why is Myspace suffering then? Well just look at it. Does that look like a website that works in this web 2.0+ environment (web 3.0? web 4.5? or whatever we’re up to now)? When about 500 million people worldwide are using Facebook older social networks have to give way or adapt.

There are now better ways of networking, better ways of putting your music out there, better ways of staying in touch with your friends (or fans). Myspace has become redundant and it’s showing in the stats. Seems like the Murdoch and his empire have been very good at conquering the offline world, but they aren’t doing equally well in a digital environment.

Recent news also suggest that Myspace Music could start charging their users. Maybe Murdoch’s hoping for a quick death instead of a slow one.

4 thoughts on “Artists beware: Myspace is going down”

  1. Bas says:

    Good warning. I think Soundcloud could fill a certain void when it comes to hosting music… That, or YouTube of course.

    Just wanted to alert you that the last link to CNET has one http too many 😉

  2. Eric says:

    I think you’re absolutely right. Everyday, artists email, tweet, and facebook me all the reasons why I need to listen to their stuff, and I’m happy to do it. But I’ll be honest, the MySpace urls drop immediately to the bottom of my list. Bandcamp and SoundCloud are brilliant. Likewise, Facebook and Last.fm are generally low-impact, but I don’t have the time or the patience (it’s a very long list) to deal with all the clutter of MySpace.

    The last straw for me was about a month ago when I discovered that a few people had posted widgets in the comments section that hijacked the page I was visiting and automatically played their music instead once the page (finally) finished loading.

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