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29/08/2011 by

MySpace Revamp With iTunes, Spotify & Vevo?

You’ve probably heard investors say: “Never catch a falling knife” before? But it looks like new owner Specific Media wants to revamp MySpace to a vertical social music network, by embedding iTunes, Spotify and Vevo.

In June 2011, ad tech company Specific Media acquired the once-mighty MySpace from News Corp. for $35 Million in cash and stock. News Corp. that paid $580 Million to buy MySpace 6 years ago will keep a 5% stake in the social network.

Superstar Justin Timberlake will be an equity investor and creative player in the new MySpace. Would Timberlake be inspired by the role he played in the movie about Facebook, “The Social Network”?

I’m aware that some ‘industry experts’ will immediately shout that Facebook is the #1 social network by far, and that MySpace has lost the battle a few years ago already.

Well, true: There can be only one be the number 1. And we all know that it’s Facebook. Does this also mean that there will be no space for niche vertical social communities?

I think that would be strategically very limited thinking. Industry experts might know that vertical social networks or niche communities – in the field of travel, movies, games and music – could have their space besides Facebook!

Could MySpace claim a significant role in the music industry as the dedicated music community? Honestly, it was the only strategic direction that MySpace should have claimed 2-3 years ago already, but for some reason Chief Strategy Officers at News Corp failed to see this direction.

MySpace’s renewed positioning as a music hub will be introduced through a launch campaign later this year. And not only has MySpace the support of Justin Timberlake, MySpace has invested in a new management team.

And if MySpace – that had already claimed a breadth of partnerships with 4 major music labels in addition to the tens of millions of independent artists – is able to integrate iTunes, Spotify and Vevo as well, it could become the leading player in the field of music.

Vevo, the music video network for the US, is climbing the comScore rankings in the US, with 62.1 Million unique users in June 2011.

The fast growing Spotify had over 11 Million active subscribers in March 2011. To set a benchmark, 11 Million is about the same size as location based friend network Foursquare.

And with already 70 Million monthly active users globally (comScore), MySpace could have a very broad reach and footprint in music, including some of the music industry’s top influencers and pluggers.

And any “niche” network or community with 70 Million users should be able to capitalize upon that asset. Especially when online ad sales and sponsorships will be done by Specific Media, and knowing that real music lovers are willing to pay for music tracks and for monhtly subscriptions.

The question is, will MySpace be able to monetize and show profits?

How do you as venture capitalist, industry analyst or music veteran see the future of MySpace? We are eager to learn from your opinion…

Source: Advertising Age


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Igor Beuker
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