Welcome to another day in the digital age. We’ve shifted paradigms in both the social and professional spectrum of our lives tremendously over the course of the last decade. Today we use countless multi-media social networking services available to users of all types around the globe. But no matter how popular sites like Facebook and Twitter have become, they’ll never come close to saying they did it like Myspace.
Myspace’s conception was in 2003 and was acquired by news Corp in 2005 for for $580 million. From then to early 2008, Myspace held the crown as the most visited site in the United States (surpassed Google in June 2006). What gave Myspace an innovative edge was the multitude of modifications every user could make to uniquely display their personal interests. Myspace’s personalization of every single profile gave every user a more interactive connection between themselves and the service. It wasn’t enough to list your favorite artists or songs, because you personally displayed them as theme songs to tell your current chapter in life. It wasn’t merely the sharing of information such as friends and interaction that made Myspace a commodity, as it was the entertainment.
Music Recording artists and entertainers of various sorts both mainstream and independent were given a platform to share with their fans a day to day update of their activity. As user activity increased on a regular basis so did the opportunity to shine and showcase your 15 minutes of fame. Almost over night musicians’ careers sky-rocketed to stardom building cult-like fan followings. The hip-hop world saw a mix-tape movement the likes of which it had never seen before as every would-be M.C with a mic had a music profile. As rudimentary is it seems, we finally saw what we never had before in music, a play-by-play statistical log of songs fans were listening to regularly while online. As independent artists and never-before-heard talent showcased their sounds, record label A&R’s had a field day signing the “Next Big Name.
With artists such as Mickey Avalon, Tila Tequilla, Sean Kingston, Soulja Boy (Tell ‘Em), and Asher Roth to name a few, Myspace gave birth to the careers of the next generation in popular culture. As an independent artist yet to be signed to a major label myself, I can personally say, the original MySpace was primarily responsible for opening the doors I never knew were there to begin with.
By the end of 2008 Facebook had taken over as the most popular website in the United States and now reigns supreme today for social networking of all purposes. Through integration with other services as Spotify it may still hold its position at the throne for the time being. But don’t think you’ve seen the end of Myspace. In late 2011 Justin Timberlake and Specific Media bought the social-network pioneer for $35 million, and have since been working to breathe new life into the Frankenstein media design that started it all.
Props to Tom.