So it all began in an unassuming manner. MySpace was a social networking platform like any other--it wasn't particularly innovative in its approach, but for whatever reason, it was promptly the most popular. In its infancy, the 'Space was merely yet another way to post about the banal events of your shitty life and virtually meet girls with septum piercings who, in real life, turned out to be gargantuan mouth-breathers. And drove Scions. And freaked me out. I digress.
Here's where MySpace garnered its most significant bit of cultural influence: It became the platform for independent musicians. Despite its doddering ineptitude when it comes to positive evolution, it was especially accessible, had a mechanism for streaming songs and was a way to reach thousands of people. But now, as legions of "users" free themselves from the clutches of MySpace Tom's clammy paws, the site's overlords are looking for more ways to keep people using their platform. And now that it's pretty apparent that we've all left for Facebook, MySpace is trying to keep the one thing they have that no one else does: "EVERY FRICKIN' BAND ON THE PLANET." See how after the jump.
Download Squad has a pretty thorough overview of MySpace's new analytics features. Check it:
On the new Artist Dashboard, artists can check out the demographics of their fanbase, including a breakdown of age, gender and location. The Dashboard also includes pageviews and song plays over time, and integrates information from iLike, which MySpace acquired earlier this year.
Andrew Dubber over at Music Think Tank launched into a bit of a diatribe regarding MySpace's impotent attempts to keep musicians hanging around, and he has a pretty intriguing proposal:
I'd like to hereby declare 24th October 2010 Global 'Quit MySpace' Day.
That's one year from today. It's a Sunday. Put it on your calendar. Mark it in your diary. And spread the word. Let's give them 12 months to do it right - or we're ALL gone.
I'd like to invite any other music-facing service on the planet, real or as-yet unformed, to step up and take their place as the default home for independent music online. We may be about to create a vacuum. Someone needs to step in to fill it.
I don't necessarily WANT MySpace to fail. The best outcome for this is for musicians to be delighted with the platform. Nobody wants to move all their data, re-upload their songs, and start building up a fanbase (however bogus those numbers actually are) all over again. But if the 'love' shown to artists is as weak and contemptuous as the kind of 'love' that passes for News From MySpace as reported on Download Squad today - then they MUST fail.
There you have it. MySpace is the metaphorical merch girl who supported our band for a while with her trust fund and her euphoric willingness to help, but now the funds are drying up and it's time to move on. Will MySpace heed the call for a better platform? Will people ever move on?