The familiarity and simplicity of the Myspace we knew and loved sadly was replaced by My____. On a positive note, the glittery backgrounds, animated .gifs and incessant spam that compelled everyday users like myself to deactivate my account have disappeared. MySpace, reeling under the pressure, underwent a futile facelift to seduce the musicians. Not surprisingly, musicians have expressed their discontent with the difficulties and inefficiencies with the site. But discontent aside, let's play the devil's advocate to point out just why musicians shouldn't quite ditch Myspace, just yet.
The Musician's Point of View
I've interviewed a number of musicians in my time and during every interview, I've asked the question, Do you use MySpace and what are your sentiments? I've listened to the responses, and they've been for the most part, uniform. Musicians hate Myspace.
Myspace is dead to me. What it was, was that there was a bunch of other social sites, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and such. The thing with Myspace was that Myspace didn't stick to its whole form. Myspace didn't stick to Myspace. Myspace started to try to be like Facebook and Twitter and Youtube That's Twitter, and Facebook being such a big social network nowadays and then Myspace started changing things on their format that everybody was like I don't want to learn new things on Myspace because I liked how it was and you're gonna changeem. Lil Crazed
Most people I know don't check Myspace. It's not dead, it's on its way out the door. If you look at Myspace it looks really different from what it used to be. DJ Neil Armstrong
Totally, absolutely. It's just a ghost town now. No one goes there. [Myspace] just imploded on themselves. It's all just advertisements. No one gives a shit and it's so hard to sit through all the craziness when you go on now. Skrillex
So you find your peers forgoing the social networking site. The question you likely have in your mind is, with the obvious benefits of Bandcamp, Facebook and Twitter, and Tumblr (or Blogger and Wordpress), what value proposition does Myspace have for musicians?
The Music Critic's Point of View
Let's take a look at this from a music critic's perspective discovering musicians. The advantage that Myspace has over competing social networking sites is its crucial renewed partnership with Google.
When I'm interested in a musician by the name of DJ Matter, for example, I immediately type DJ Matter or DJ Matter music into the Google search query. What the partnership guarantees is that at the top of Google's search engine results page the musician's MySpace page (granted that they have created one) will be displayed, which makes finding the musician's music, tour dates and location, contact information and biography a cinch.
How important is finding this information in a short amount of time? If you're a musician with an easy to find web presence, you've branded yourself in the viewer's eyes as a legitimate entity.
The cons of competing social media mediums for discovering musicians
Facebook: Musicians using a music player app to feature music on their Facebook page is surprisingly uncommon.
Bandcamp: Equally rare is the use of Bandcamp among the more established musicians. Add to that, finding a musician's Bandcamp page requires me to specify a DJ Matter + Bandcamp search query because Bandcamp pages are often nowhere to be found on the front page of Google.
Twitter: I use Twitter to acquaint myself with the personality of the musicians for pre-interview purposes, but listening to a musician's music isn't an integrated feature.
Minimal maintenance is all you need
Let's face it. Myspace is now merely a web based EPK. Connecting with fans and making the crucial connections with industry leaders are for the most part, a whisper of the past and the proof is in the diminishing user base at a rate of 60 million per month. While it's important to keep in touch with your fan base, Myspace is no longer the venue to do so. Instead, your fans are turning to Facebook or Twitter.
But by leveraging the Myspace and Google partnership, you can keep the potential fans and critics happy by maintaining information that you can make conveniently accessible to visitors searching for the musician and their online presence. At the minimum and maximum, maintain the following categories:
Music Keep your band's tracks updated. It could mean the difference between featuring another band over yours for that day.
Shows & Events Update your tours and tour dates. If you're coming to my city, I would want to request an interview as a preview to your show.
Bio This should include positive reviews, band member names, contact information to your manager or publicist, links to your social media presence or website, and a brief background of the band.
Photos It doesn't hurt to make press photos publicly available for use.
Anything else outside of the aforementioned is unnecessary to maintain. Stop by once a week to keep Last Login up to date and you've maximized Myspace's utility, while minimizing your time spent on the site.