MySpace owners discuss upcoming relaunch

By | Published on Wednesday 26 September 2012


The owners of MySpace have been talking about their all new look website, a sneak preview of which was posted online earlier this week. Chris and Tim Vanderhook of Specific Media, which bought MySpace from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp last year, joined up with their business partner in the social network, Justin Timberlake, to brief both employees and journalists about their latest plans on Monday.

And while it’s quite hard to work out what exactly the all-new MySpace will do from the video preview (even if it does look a lot sleeker than any previous incarnation), in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Tim Vanderhook said that their plan remained to target primarily musicians and other creatives when their new site launches, hoping to become a social network for creators and performers to connect to fans.

He told the magazine: “In a single sentence, it’s a social network for the creative community to connect to their fans. We’re going after artists, right after this we’ll be talking to various artists to come on the platform. We want to give them a chance to help build it with us. We’re really far along, but we really want that last 20% to be crafted by more people like Justin that actually know the tools and things that they need”.

The Vanderbooks have always honed in on the MySpace Music of old – which for a time became the default destination for fans looking to connect with artists – as being the element of their acquisition worth having. Of course MySpace has long since ceased to be the primary home for artists looking to connect to fans, most acts having left their MySpace pages to rot for some time now (if they haven’t deleted them, or set them up as a signpost to other social networks).

It will be interesting to see if MySpace has any hope in persuading decent talent away from Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, where acts most routinely connect with their fans these days. Many would say MySpace don’t have a chance, though the growing popularity of Tumblr amongst artists shows that musicians, like their fans, remain pretty fickle when it comes to social media. Whether the fickleness that helped cause MySpace v1’s collapse could help fuel MySpace v2’s rise, well, that would be interesting.

But there’s still a big hill to climb, even though, as Timberlake reportedly joked at Specific’s staff briefing this week, “I know some artists”.

So much work ahead, in finishing the platform, signing up talent and wooing back the punters. Though that relatively brief video preview got people talking in a way few probably expected, so I guess for now the Vanderhooks and their mate Justin will be happy.

Commenting on the video, Chris Vanderhook said: “Today is the launch of MySpace, and what we want people to see first is the actual design and the product. That’s why that video is really important. I think that’s necessary for people to be able to consider MySpace and to prove a point that we wanted to put out there. But we want people signing up, we want people to request an invite, it will be very soon”.