I’ve been playing with the New Myspace for a couple of days, and even as a Premium Spotify user, I’m really impressed. But does it have enough to rise from the ashes? Keep reading and see…
It wasn’t so long ago that I was revealing to the world my dirty little secret – that I was rediscovering the old Myspace , but then Spotify came along and put a quick end to that. Now, Myspace is back with a great new UI and smooth social connectivity. Here are five reasons why it may just be the next big thing in social music.
1) It’s artist focused
Right now, if you’re looking to connect with a band or an artist, you’re either hunting for them on Spotify, finding their updates on Facebook and searching for videos on YouTube. When it comes to music, the social experience is disjointed. The new Myspace continues to focus on the music industry – but unlike other online radio sites, it gives artists a way to bring their content into one place, connect with their fans and offer unique content.
What this means is social media savvy artists have a way to roll their presence into one place, giving fans direct access to what they’re doing, but also the music they’re into. Imagine listening to the stuff that your favourite musician is inspired by? Once we see artists and bands building their profile, the new Myspace will really start cooking.
2) It’s socially sensible
Yes! Tom’s still using MySpace!
Spotify’s biggest problem is that it’s trying too hard to be a music player, going up against iTunes rather than being a social experience. While there’s a small element of social in the sidebar, they essentially outsourced the main game to Facebook – and once you’re in Facebook, you’re vying with thousands of other apps for newsfeed real estate.
Myspace’s focus is being a social platform first with a focus on music rather than a music player with a social layer tacked on the side (we know how well that worked for Apple’s Ping…).
When it comes to making connections on the new Myspace, one interesting feature is that you can see how similar your music tastes are to people/artists/bands via an ‘affinity score‘. It’s a slightly different take on how we connect socially but also drives home the message that they’ll be focusing on helping people discover new music.
3) Myspace looks GOOD.
Let’s stop for a moment and have a look…
The horizontal scroll, the large UI elements, the hover menus all make it really easy to use and to connect with people and artists. The music player and radio works as you’d expect, along with the ‘discover’ function you’d see on other sites.
I’m really looking forward to seeing more video content on the new Myspace too. Full screen videos look great and what’s even better is that you can still listen to videos while browsing around. A small video window docks to the music player in the bottom-right, allowing you to look up info on the artist or hunt down the next clip to add to the queue.
4) Extra content is decent (but needs variety)
Myspace is also continuing to add extra content to the site themselves with news articles, featured playlists and artists. Knowing that there are people actively driving the platform is good to see. It’s a useful way to showcase the platform’s features but also highlight what’s happening in the industry. The trick will be providing enough content to cover different music tastes to make it relevant.
5) Tom’s still there.
If you didn’t spot him in the photo above, Tom’s still using Myspace. He’s still there listening to music.
The not so good
But it isn’t all perfect… there are still a number of things that Myspace needs to work on to make things better
1) Get mobile
New Myspace on the HTC One X
Right now, in its early release and the mobile experience is a little disappointing. The responsive design gives you a lot of hope, as it scales down really nicely. Unfortunately mobile browsers I’ve tried on higher-end devices (new iPad, HTC One X) still struggle a bit with the transitions and loading elements on the fly.
Dedicated mobile apps should be at the top of list for Myspace, especially if they can include AirPlay for iOS devices.
2) Teaser tracks suck
A legacy issue from their early days, a lot of artists are still using ‘teaser’ songs. When a service advertises itself as offering unlimited free music, there’s nothing more frustrating to only hearing 30 seconds of a track before it changes. Hopefully, as more artists see the value of what they’re offering, they’ll return and update their profiles with full songs and video clips.
3) It’s still buggy
The music player and radio’s still a bit buggy with some songs stopping halfway through, forcing you to refresh the page or choose another song. Not so bad for a free service, but definitely something that needs to be ironed out quickly.
4) Make it easier to find friends
Whenever I sign up for a new social site, I want to see who else is there that I know. It’s the fastest way to make a social site social. Outside of doing a generic search, I haven’t been able to add friends from email addresses or from other social sites.
5) Go premium
I really don’t mind paying for a good service. Whether it’s iTunes Match, Spotify Premium or HootSuite Pro, if it’s worth it, I’ll pay for it. I’d love to see a few premium features from MySpace, especially if it means that artists will be getting more.
Will Myspace win the social music battle?
Time will tell. It’s definitely lifting the bar for making music more social. Platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, FourSquare and Instagram are showing that people are still willing to go to separate social sites for specific purposes. Music is one of the last mainstream entertainment areas that doesn’t have a really good social platform worth going to – possibly, until now.
Are you on the new MySpace? What are your thoughts on it?
[box type="info"]Here are a few other links that might be helpful:
[box type="tick"]Want to join in? Get in contact with me (via social or the contact form) with your email address and I’ll send you an invite. [/box]