In other words, the new MySpace — excuse us, “Myspace” — is now live, with a fresh redesign and a new focus on helping artists post music to share with fans. In other words, it’s back to the first vision of MySpace, when it supplanted MP3.com as the default place for artists to upload their music, and became, for a while there, the best place to research and hear any band. (Remember, this was before YouTube became a licensed music service, and way before anything like the free version of Spotify).
After months of private beta previews, the new Myspace emerged to the public today. If you remember your old password and have access to your old email address, you can log in with those or a new email address — or just use Twitter or Facebook credentials, a clear sign that the new Myspace envisions itself not as a competitor to those two, but as a new music-focused social network.
The first thing you’ll see, in multiple places, is Timberlake’s new single, “Suit & Tie, FT Jay-Z,” which streams on Myspace for free with an iTunes purchase link below it. Myspace does not appear to be making money from iTunes affiliate links, the way Twitter does, but we suspect it will, eventually.
Back to the news at hand: By promoting his new single with the launch of an entire social network, Timberlake appears to be sending a message to other artists about what the new Myspace is for: posting music for free, and trying to upsell users to purchasing downloads. The new site makes it super-easy for any user to repost any song they find from their own profile, which Timberlake no doubt hopes will become something people do quite a bit — sort of like retweeting a tweet.
After you get past a couple of screens featuring Timberlake’s own jam, you’ll see plenty of other artists in the Discover section, which includes trending items (artists, users, videos, and so on), as well as a prominent music-specific section (high rotation, new albums, artists, and recommended). The new Myspace also has a streaming radio function, in case you get tired of looking for stuff, with the ability to play artist or genre stations. Finally, a mixes section lets people share playlists.
The new Myspace is everything the old one wasn’t towards the end: Simple, non-confusing, modern, clean, and focused. It looks great, as noted in October, when the new version emerged in beta.
Will anyone care? If they like Justin Timberlake, they will care for today, at least. Myspace appears to have all the tools it needs to become a player in the free, promotional music space, but of course, a social network is nothing without people, and there’s obviously no way to tell whether they will come to rely on Myspace to discover music and find out more about artists. As crazy as it would have seemed a few years ago, when Myspace was floundering, it does appear to stand a chance, especially given this initial boost from Timberlake’s star power.
When I interviewed Justin Timberlake in 2010 at the launch of his fashion brand, he said, “We get creative with a lot of different brands but they’re so specific to each other. I don’t cross-promote anything of mine unless it genuinely feels organic. For instance, I have one of my bands playing the music for the fashion show, but that makes sense. I wouldn’t do something that was pushing something that wasn’t organic.”
In this case, he appears to be playing by those rules.
(via The Verge)