Myspace was too much An introduction for music lovers to the new social media landscape. For half a decade after its founding in 2003, the site was the most visited social network in the world, and the first popular platform for seasoned musicians and celebrities to build a following. On Myspace Music, artists can upload tracks, connect with fans, and control their own brand. Free.
In Myspace, musicians can be weirder and more personalized than they are on album notes or on the websites of major brands. Creating a fun profile was a free growth hack, ensuring that fans could share the artist’s music with millions of other potential fans. Does this make you angry? Drummer Rob Bloomfield says of the group, “The stupid name plus the hentai lolita porn avatar we used meant that thousands of people put ‘Does it offend you, yeah?'” “In Top 8 Friends.” The industry quickly called, looking for the band’s digital middle finger monetization for the entire Internet.
Myspace knew its platform was making and breaking careers. The company built features to keep the momentum going, but it’s the users who really push things forward. A generation of kids has been customizing profile layouts in HTML, adding a line of code to play songs automatically. The ability to associate a song directly with your character has become an immersive war, resulting in countless free publicity for artists.
“You had kids turned publicity for you for free,” says Isaac Walter, a former A&R professor at Myspace Records. “You had an editorial side that did nothing but promote the music in order to get more musicians, more views – and you had labels, which was the worst because they were in a crisis of not selling any recordings.” Myspace has been turning DJs into stars famous enough to secure record deals, but they still haven’t solved the problem of how to make money off of music outside of tours.
Australian electronic duo Bag Raiders attribute much of their early success to the catwalk: “We did a remix of this band – our friends – Valentinos, and then suddenly the guys from Kitsuné in Paris texted us on Myspace.” The placement on the Kitsuné mixtape, which was available online for free download, was a quick ticket to Myspace’s huge hype, better bookings, and remixes by other artists on the circuit.
The Bag Raiders success story was no exception: uploading tracks to Myspace as a form of free promotion quickly became the norm, from bands to DJs to rappers. “I can remember we toured Australia for a year, and I was booking ads in the actual press on the street. A year later, we were selling tours just by telling our friends on MySpace about them. That changed quickly,” says Julian Hamilton of Presets.
As traditional media barriers around bans, press releases, and manipulative marketing by teen bloggers around the world have been dismantled, music critics have, of course, been losing their footing as well. “rolling rock It doesn’t matter anymore because there is now a Pitchfork. Of course, Pitchfork became the new rolling rockbut for a while it seemed exciting and new, as if the world was really changing,” says Hamilton.
This brief moment in the history of music cannot be repeated today. For one thing, MP3 audio won’t fly at crunchy bitrate now, and after many years of digital content proliferation neither will be written for free. More important, perhaps, is that the life cycle of the song in the blogging generation would not be legally possible. “The whole reason this moment happened and dance music in general reached the level it once was in the world is a remix of culture and a reinterpretation. Clayton Blaha, a publicist who has represented clients including Diplo, Justice and Falls Gold Records says: