Why Musicians Should Maintain A Bare Minimum MySpace Presence

Let's play the devil's advocate to point out just why musicians shouldn't quite ditch Myspace, just yet.

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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.

Written by Francis Bea, originally posted on Dotted Music.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    stndrdprcdre
    It's crazy how Myspace fell. Back in like 2005 I remember thinking to myself that this was the most powerful thing on the internet and it would always be that way. My life pretty much revolved around that damn site for like 2 years. Then I grew up and got married and stopped listening to angsty kiddie music and had no use for it anymore.
    Scourge441
    For any musician still on Myspace, I highly recommend using HTML to replace the terrible Myspace player with the much-better Bandcamp one. Of course, this requires a Bandcamp account for your music, which is another thing I highly recommend having. Also, something worth mentioning is that a lot of people are turning to Youtube to check out a band's music as well. You know those "videos" that are just a picture of the band/album cover and has one of the songs playing in the background? Those can be an extremely powerful tool to take advantage of.
    Scourge441
    Oh, and there are several third-party apps that allow you to put much of the information from Myspace onto your Facebook profile. Most of them contain a music player that's better than the Facebook one. Rootmusic and Reverbnation both have them, and if you're going to be on Facebook (which you should), you should also use one of these.
    mesopatamius
    The problem with putting your music on Facebook is that they have previously stated that by doing so you give Facebook the rights to use that music any way they want without needing your permission.
    Trentaru
    i agree with all of this, but i think that there are better options now, i personally like reverbnation but i would also use facebook if i had a band
    hriday_hazarika
    Bandcamp also have an agreement with Google that pushes up their search results. So, if an artist has made a Bandcamp page, it will be on the first page of Google's search results. Do yer research.
    TheResults
    I just prefer this site to host my band's social networking, keeps things down to business.
    godisasniper
    Scourge441 wrote: For any musician still on Myspace, I highly recommend using HTML to replace the terrible Myspace player with the much-better Bandcamp one. Of course, this requires a Bandcamp account for your music, which is another thing I highly recommend having. Also, something worth mentioning is that a lot of people are turning to Youtube to check out a band's music as well. You know those "videos" that are just a picture of the band/album cover and has one of the songs playing in the background? Those can be an extremely powerful tool to take advantage of.
    Two VERY good points. And yeah, myspace has really screwed itself over in the last couple of years...I'm in the process of shifting the majority of my band's online presence to Facebook, it's a lot of work since I had EVERYTHING linking to myspace.
    CrawlingHorror
    This article is going to be redundant once My Space is closed in the next year. News Corp is desperately trying to sell it and isn't getting any interest. The site lost $156 million the last quarter of 2010 and its parent firm just is not going to tolerate those losses for long. Investors are running away from My Space as if it was the Fukushima nuke plant. Goodbye My Space. That means the musicians who use it had better come up with an alternate venue or marketing strategy quick.
    Campbell2893
    This article is going to be redundant once My Space is closed in the next year. News Corp is desperately trying to sell it and isn't getting any interest. The site lost $156 million the last quarter of 2010 and its parent firm just is not going to tolerate those losses for long. Investors are running away from My Space as if it was the Fukushima nuke plant. Goodbye My Space. That means the musicians who use it had better come up with an alternate venue or marketing strategy quick.
    Exactly. Myspace IS useful for the reasons mentioned in the article...thing is, myspace isn't useful enough to stay functioning at all in the long run.. I'd recommend having everything you can tbh, so people with preferences to certain sites still get exposed to you. then again nothing beats your own official website.
    swordsofplague
    Pencil Man wrote: What about a site like ReverbNation?
    ReverbNation is brilliant. I switched over just about everything from MySpace to Facebook and ReverbNation. While they do keep asking you to pay for their upgraded services, their base stuff is quite powerful and easy to use. I highly recommend RN.
    swordsofplague
    CrawlingHorror wrote: Investors are running away from My Space as if it was the Fukushima nuke plant.
    Too soon...
    Disturbed_EMG
    If I were in a band, which I currently no longer am, but if I were, I'd make accounts for the band on everything. That's what I did when I WAS in a band, and it worked out fine. That being said, I wouldn't be making a MySpace page for it this time around. There's hardly anyone using it, and a search of a band name will almost always have the Facebook page on the first page of Google results, and if it doesn't, one simply adds "facebook" to the end of their search terms. My point being, I do not see any marketability in MySpace anymore. It's on the way out, and no one's going to go back to it.
    ibarrg7
    What happened to bands having their own website? The main reason bands shouldn't be on myspace is because the fans aren't on myspace. I deleted my myspace account years ago, haven't looked back. When a band promotes themselves and gives a link to their myspace page, I just laugh. I won't even "like" a band on facebook because the status updates from my friends are generally an overload of crap.