As a social networking tool, Myspace is all but dead. It was once the top social networking site on the Internet, but that title has gone to Facebook. Given some time, many younger users might not even realize that a popular precursor to Facebook even existed.
Despite the fact that Facebook has ousted Myspace as the average user’s social network of choice, Myspace has remained relatively popular as a place for unsigned musicians to promote themselves and their music. Myspace’s interface has always been more intuitive than Facebook when it comes to sharing and promoting music, but should musicians keep their Myspace pages active while they go to school to earn their MFA degrees?
One thing that seems to be overlooked thanks to our “all-or-nothing” mindset is that Myspace is still fairly popular with users. It’s nowhere near as popular as it once was, and certainly isn’t as popular as Facebook, but Myspace is still ranks near the top 150 sites in total Web traffic. That’s not a spectacular ranking compared to what it used to be, but it is still significant. Myspace pages that promote independent bands and artists still show up frequently on Google searches, so these pages do get a fair number of visitors. In fact, many people are still more likely to visit a band’s Myspace page to learn more about them than the band’s own website. As a promotional tool for new music, Myspace is still effective.
The layout of a Myspace page is also intuitive when it comes to promoting a band and its music. While many people agree that the Myspace music player is far from perfect, it’s still easy to use and can be integrated into a Myspace page’s layout without much trouble. Most Myspace pages for artists also have a convenient spot for tour dates and other information, making promotion of upcoming live performances a breeze. This is more than what a typical Facebook profile has to offer. Facebook profiles are presented more like timelines, which isn’t very intuitive when it comes to posting a clean list of tour dates; this information often ends up buried under a list of updates and comments. Facebook also doesn’t have a universal music player like the one found on Myspace. A music player can be added to a Facebook profile, but it takes some time and effort to implement it in a way that makes it effective.
In short, musicians shouldn’t write off Myspace as a thing of the past. It can still be a very effective tool when it comes to promoting new music thanks to its intuitive layout and easy-to-use music player. Even if Myspace is shrinking faster every day, there’s still the chance that a musician’s page will be viewed by a fair number of people. As the old saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
If you are a budding musician, and you want to learn more about music performance and promotion, consider returning to school to earn a college degree in music. It’s technically not essential to your success, but having a degree will always increase your chances of finding work for yourself or your band.
Tight Mix Blog (2010)