When the site relaunches later this year, former social networking heavyweight MySpace will aim to reclaim the position it once held as a preeminent hub for music.
MySpace went through several attempts to reinvent itself before being sold by News Corp in June. Its new marketing head Al Dejewski told Ad Age the company will shift its focus more intently on music and try to compete against the likes of Spotify and iTunes, .
Even as the site has shed users, revenue and credibility in the social networking space over the last few years, MySpace never really stopped being a legitimate place for musicians to share their music and for fans to hear it, even in the face of upstarts like BandCamp and SoundCloud. Indeed, sharing music was a central factor in the site’s early growth before it was first eclipsed by Facebook in 2008.
Its new owners want to capitalize on the fact that even as regular users flee, bands and music fans still turn to MySpace. A launch campaign planned for later this year will feature an array of celebrities and major brands acting as promotional partners. Pop star and actor Justin Timberlake, who now owns a stake in the company, is acting as the site’s creative director.
Can this next rebranding campaign save the fallen social giant? Having lost the consumer social networking game to Facebook, its renewed focus on music will put it up against a growing array of hot new players, from on-demand music services like Spotify and Rdio to group listening apps like Turntable.fm.
MySpace was sold to Specific Media in June for $35 million, six years after News Corp bought it for $580 million.