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Happy 'Quit MySpace' Day

There’s an article about MySpace on Download Squad today (a great site - and one you should subscribe to, if you don’t already). It would appear that MySpace is “showing artists some love” by adding some basic analytics and an archive of music videos.

That’s it? Are they kidding?!

MySpace has what I would consider to be the greatest untapped asset on the internet right now: EVERY FRICKIN’ BAND ON THE PLANET.

You guys ARE MySpace. That’s “love”?!

MySpace need to do better. Way better. And they need to do it now.

A better MySpace
Imagine if they started a merchandise service, and topsliced $1 off each sale. Even if every artist in the world only sells two t-shirts - one to themselves, and one to their mother - and with an average of (let’s say) 2.5 people per ‘band’ - there’s $25m right there without even blinking. By being actually helpful.

Or what if they set up a publishing company to connect artists with independent film-makers, games developers, television producers, web companies and other media outlets? Or helped artists connect with brands, so that Coke could offer $500 to each of 1,000 young indie rock bands in exchange for the usual sponsorship stuff on tours?

Or suppose they designed the perfect online independent music contact management system. Or gave ordinary members - non-musicians - the tools to set up their own MySpace ‘labels’ to discover, promote and distribute artists.

Or any number of other things they could do if they thought for two minutes about the fact that they have EVERY FRICKIN’ BAND ON THE PLANET.

The list is endless. But MySpace clearly don’t get it.

They think that they’re still in the social network game. That they are somehow competing with Facebook. They’re not. That’s not the business they’re in. I mean really - do you know ANYONE who uses MySpace for day to day general social networking? They may have been pioneers in this field (I don’t happen to think they were… but they MAY have been) - but that’s not what people use them for now.

Don’t get me wrong: You CAN manage your day to day independent music career using MySpace. Many people do. But it’s like drying your hair with a toaster. Possible, but not really fit for purpose.

Let’s be clear. We decided what MySpace would become. They set up a social networking platform, but what we as users decided to use it for is as a music platform. Were it not for issues of timing and some core functionality that nobody else was offering right up front, it would probably have been dead by now, because they still haven’t realised that very simple fact.

The only thing keeping MySpace on life support to this day, as far as traffic is concerned - is YOUR music. For reasons of critical mass alone, more or less every artist on earth has a presence there - and that’s mostly because every other artist on earth does.

And we put up with its broken interface, bad design, 90s technology, ad-riddled BS, and complete lack of comprehension about what MySpace is really for - for one reason alone: nobody else has EVERY FRICKIN’ BAND ON THE PLANET.

Right now, nobody else can do what MySpace could do, should they choose to. Nobody else has everyone in music signed up, and it seems unlikely at this point that anyone else ever will again. Lots of stuff does things far better than MySpace - but everyone’s already AT MySpace. Inertia rules.

We need a revolution
MySpace doesn’t need improvement - it needs a complete rethink. It needs to be remade, genuinely in the service of the people who make it work - OR we need to stage an orchestrated mass exodus.

We need an elsewhere to go and we need to ALL go there.

I’m completely serious about this: if the people at MySpace don’t recognise and understand the incredible asset they possess and start to make use of it in a way that’s helpful and beneficial to their core user base - then they deserve to fail. Slowly, painfully, and in abject corporate misery.

And when I say ‘core user base’ - I don’t mean (as they do) all of the people who at one time signed up to MySpace. They’re members - but they’re not all users. I’m talking about the people who USE MySpace. Really use it.

Of course the ironic thing is that simply realising and making use of this ‘revelation’ is exactly the sort of thing that would turn MySpace into a far more wildly successful money-spinning destination than it ever has been in the past. One that grew organically and provided well thought-through (and wildly profitable) services for the vast majority of artists who are NOT Black Eyed Peas or Muse.

But they clearly haven’t understood it yet, and I despair of them ever understanding it at all.

MySpace is playing catch-up in increments - they’re a decade behind everyone else, and losing ground fast. They need to stop making improvements and adding extra features. Seriously: tear it down, and build it again properly. And this time, understand what it is you have necessarily become: a service for independent music.

You have EVERY FRICKIN’ BAND ON THE PLANET for God’s sake. Sort yourself out.

You have one year.

The clock is ticking
I’d like to hereby declare 24th October 2010 Global ‘Quit MySpace’ Day.

That’s one year from today. It’s a Sunday. Put it on your calendar. Mark it in your diary. And spread the word. Let’s give them 12 months to do it right - or we’re ALL gone.

I’d like to invite any other music-facing service on the planet, real or as-yet unformed, to step up and take their place as the default home for independent music online. We may be about to create a vacuum. Someone needs to step in to fill it.

I don’t necessarily WANT MySpace to fail. The best outcome for this is for musicians to be delighted with the platform. Nobody wants to move all their data, re-upload their songs, and start building up a fanbase (however bogus those numbers actually are) all over again. But if the ‘love’ shown to artists is as weak and contemptuous as the kind of ‘love’ that passes for News From MySpace as reported on Download Squad today - then they MUST fail. 

To be honest with you - this is not my fight. I’m not an independent musician. I don’t have to be on MySpace. In fact, I never have to look at it again if I don’t want to. But this makes me angry.

You deserve far better - and I hope this inspires you to demand it.

References (1)

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  • Response
    Response: harland checks
    Happy 'Quit MySpace' Day - MTT - Music Think Tank

Reader Comments (53)

Initially I have a two word response: Band Camp

October 24 | Registered CommenterBruce Warila

Since you've said it, the following should probably be made clear: I'm an advisor to Bandcamp. But I'd 'echo' your own thoughts on this post regarding the player too.

Though I would say, it's not just about the player. EVERYTHING is wrong with MySpace.

October 24 | Registered CommenterAndrew Dubber

Unfortunately for them, MySpace tried to emulate twitter, and eliminated the need for anyone to actually visit anyone's myspace page. A user can log in - look at status messages, and log out.

I strongly prefer Reverbnation - great band tools, and they actually care about artists - as opposed to having them be an afterthought.

MySpace is dead... it's just that no one's turned the lights off yet.

Thanks for the post - well-thought-out.



October 24 | Unregistered CommenterMark

I think Soundcloud has made a LOT of musicians, certainly in the electronic music community, realise how badly MySpace short changes them on the music-sharing/playing front.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Muggs

I just spoke to someone senior at MySpace Music a few weeks ago. They do have plans to roll out a ton of artist tools but as you might imagine it's a scalability issue. They are clearly in a tough spot but I think they have some bright people over there. I agree they need to get something launched but I think there is a great deal coming.


October 24 | Unregistered CommenterRick Goetz

Yup. Bandcamp.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterAmit

MySpace is burnt out!
I wouldn't even give them a year, but I'm definitely in!
I can't believe that they're being so.. stupid.

Some bands are getting more listens on FACEBOOK than myspace, for crying out loud. I'm not a fan of either interface for music listening, but that's just wrong.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterJoe Reed

I too think that bandcamp has the potential to become the next big thing for indie artist, although i think a site which combines the tools of bandcamp, the scrobbling of last fm and the network of facebook would be perfect. Myspace is a mess.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterJoris Postulart

Couldn't agree more, Myspace is a travesty, though I think you are preaching to the choir. It's the lazy-ass 'industry types' that arbitrarily insist on wanting your Myspace address for any purpose. They know what to expect with Myspace (even if the numbers have been duked) and if you refuse to playball, well, there's a queue already forming behind you of those who will.

My band swears by Bandcamp, but it can't (yet) provide the context given by Myspace. I doesn't cost us any additional time to maintain because we use the cool Artist Data app to publish gigs etc. We'd be happy enough if we could replace the myspace player for a bandcamp one, but 'to myspace' is almost a common a crossover verb as 'to google' within the industry. We need a strong alternative proposition to overcome that.

I agree that Myspace might actually grasp this opportunity. At the moment the quality of their traffic is worth less than nothing. If they act they might attract better advertising dollars too.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterRich Dale

keep an eye on muxtape

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterIndie Music Finds

Completely agree. Myspace is dying, or dead! What annoys me about myspace is that it only really gives me an opportunity to promote myself to other musicians, and other musicans try and promote themselves to me. But what we really want to find is the fans. And in terms of finding fans, and people, we need to use social networking and everybody hangs out on facebook nowadays! Personally, I've had a lot better luck on youtube. The stats that myspace have so generously provided are a load of crap. It doesn't tell me how people are finding my myspace, it's just telling me where they're from which is no use to me whatsoever. (Youtube stats are much better).

I liked this idea very much by the way -
gave ordinary members - non-musicians - the tools to set up their own MySpace ‘labels’ to discover, promote and distribute artists.

All I use myspace now for is trying to book gigs for myself, and communication with other industry types. Luckily I have the odd fan, but death is knocking at the door. It's still the primary source for all artists online and it really needs to move forward and change with the times.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

Now if only we can get the Prime Minister to make it official.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterEndy Daniyanto

Take a look at and
We have a slightly different approach to the other websites, we actively promote the artists, they don't have to do it all themselves with widgets.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Bandcamp. Yes.

But let's be careful not to expect too much of Bandcamp. The last thing we need is a bells and whistles bloated site that incorporates all the networking and gig listings and the like.

Keep it simple and separate:

* Bandcamp for embedding, playing and selling releases
* Soundcloud for demos, remixes, bootlegs
* Wordpress or Posterous or Tumblr for blogging
* Twitter and Facebook for talking to fans
* Campaign Monitor or Reverbnation or ? for email newsletters
* Eventful or Upcoming or ? for listings (or all of them with ArtistData)

Once we've all left Myspace, when someone searches for your band name they will find your website. All of the above can be linked and/or embedded there. The web will suddenly be a clearer and more beautiful place for musicians. ;)

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterBen Walker

MySpace has to have become (or has always been) THE messiest user experience of any social network. How people other than teens actually use it, I have no idea (and even that user base in on the slide). I totally agree with the post. MySpace has to re-invent itself or become NoSpace.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterRuss Sargeant

I'm definitely in MySpace for the music I like, local and genre and historic big acts. It's far from satisfactory in that way. But I wouldn't quit it, if I was a band. I'd just put up a information on where I was now active. On Oct 24, 2010 put up some mass action content about how you feel.

I liked Walker's advice on a modular approach and Dubber's idea on virtual labels (a la Amazon lists). And why can't I just embed the modules I use in any old portal site, MySpace or other? WikiBandia? Yahoo "Search bands"?

What I'd personally like would be a way to manage information on who's playing where when. MySpace calendaring is absurdly weak. Event attenders have to copy events to their private calendar view. The time zone stuff reeks. When gigs change or get cancelled, the copied calendar event doesn't update. When you copy it you have to add information that's obvious (to me, anyway), etc., etc. Even without the weak user interface there's something fundamentally broken about it. I think there should be a simple international standard "appearance announcement" format, and that calendar sites should be able to add and update appearance databases from members based on receiving mail. Just put the calendar sites you like on your email mailing list. Mail them the same XML text you send to your other subscribers. Think of calendar sites as traditional mailing lists with an associated forum site for display and you've got authentication (some of it) and redistribution to other interested parties already implemented. Audiences and artists would subscribe and provide locality and genre key words to allow matching up. Local or niche lists can feed others, etc. Facts change? Send an update! You could even have venue members of calendars and match their announcements up with artists' for confirmation and additional details. A nice forum site interface would allow authenticated members to edit their own announcements through the site maybe by way of value added.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

I've been getting a few 'But where should we all go?' responses. My favourite so far has been 'Surely the only thing that can kill MySpace is something that does what MySpace does, only a million times better?'

I was going to write a lengthy response to it, but the very clever Ben Walker has replied succinctly and to the point a couple of comments back. We don't need a one-stop shop. Everything we need already exists, and it's already a million times better because it's not trying to be all things.

It's like thinking 'Well, we can't all stop going to McDonalds, because we'd have to find something that has the same uncomfortable chairs, the same mass-produced food, the same globally predictable menu and so on. Only even more so.'

I really like where John's heading above. Let MySpace aggregate and provide a framework for users to incorporate all of their various services in one easy to use, accessible and well laid-out site. Provide a compelling front end to all of the places that actually do this stuff well.

Drag and drop Bandcamp widgets. Embed Eventful calendars. Display Wordpress and Posterous posts. Integrate Twitter messages.

But start from a usability perspective. It should be easy to do and it should be completely un-f***-uppable. Clean, open and well-designed. Not the walled garden monstrosity it is now.

Actually, you know what? I don't care if it's MySpace that does that. Somebody should - and they should do it by Oct 24 next year.

October 24 | Registered CommenterAndrew Dubber

Reverbnation has just about every marketing tool we need. The Myband facebook application is by far the only music app anyone band should use. It is not exactly a startup anymore since they have hundreds of thousands of bands so they won't be going out of business. They only want whats right for the artist. The customer service is insanely great. They get brands to sponsor bands in bulk so they can get paid. They have money in our paypal account every month just waiting for me. Why all the talk about needing a new myspace when you already have these guys.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterThe Man

^^ The Man,

Now you can ask RN to give you that raise you have been hoping for..

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Warila

What about something that did this sort of thing?

October 24 | Registered CommenterAndrew Dubber

I'd just put up a information on where I was now active. On Oct 24, 2010 put up some mass action content about how you feel.

Nah, do this now.

Excellent post.

Ben sums up my thoughts on the matter, above.

October 24 | Unregistered Commenterfelix

Great post!

I strongly agree with Ben Walker re Artist Data. Having a straight forward one-stop place to input important data would save me time and save me eyesight!

Had a look at your mindmap. Very cool. Under Audio I didn't see CD Baby. Would you retail via them? One of their packages gives you the option of selling hard copy i.e. CD if you choose. From their stats, about 50% of their sales are still CDs.

I wondered what you thought of them. Obselete?

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffrey Williams

CD Baby is terrible. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. Ever. They hyped a "re-launch" back in August with new site graphics and icons and such. Ever SINCE then, they constantly tell you to "be patient" as they "catch up with things since their re-launch". They are behind because of graphical changes??? I have written them 3 times for issues i have had with their service, and NOT ONE was replied to. I have called them 3 times as well. I got through ONCE after waiting 40+ minutes on hold and the other two times I gave up AFTER AN HOUR. They promise all kinds of great stuff - but they don't follow through at all anymore. They used to be ok and things got done, though somewhat slowly. Now its horrible.

For all the artists/bands that go there, still no one who is a non-musician- has heard of it. You can tell people you can download or buy your CD at CD Baby, and they won't go there since they never heard of it. Until you get your music on iTunes, no one will buy it. ( CD Baby says they will get your music on iTunes. We submitted our new album 3+ months ago - it's still not there)

Thanks to those who have posted in this discussion. There are alternatives that I will try.

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterFivestring

Couldn't agree more with the general consensus on this subject. Until next October, here's a way to improve the experience for you and your fans. In response to Rich Dale's comment above, there is a way to replace the Myspace player with the Bandcamp player. I did it at my myspace page

I believe the code is


table table td.text div

table table table td div
display:block !important;


Just put it at the beginning of your "Musician Bio" section and then paste the Bandcamp embed code after it.

Hope it's not uncool to share that. If so, please delete. Watch, in Rupert Murdoch fashion, Myspace will probably now cancel my account :-)

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterCorey Coleman

Thanks for that, I'll try it!

Having Bandcamp on your site looks better! A good solution until Oct 24th 2010. Mr Merlin is exquisite and a great idea to write songs based on Twitter requests!

As an aside, how did you get your Facebook section on there? Clever.

Bandcamp looks pretty good too! Hmm....

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterGeoffrey Williams

What if they enforced a minimum standard of musical competence/relevance?

October 24 | Unregistered CommenterMojo Bone

I agree with much of what's been said here. Myspace has lost the fight to be a serious social networking platform but could still be the definitive platform for musicians/film-makers/artists, etc if it focuses all its resources and energy on just that.
Enough with "kids music" on the homepage. Enough with these teenage soap operas like 'Freak.' Your audience is not here. It is on Facebook.

I'd like to point out that Myspace has been absolutely invaluable for my own band in terms of promoting our releases, getting people to our shows, showcasing new songs, finding out just who is listening to our music and where they are - this, in itself, has given us a picture of where we should be focusing our touring and promotional energies. It's also put us directly in touch with other artists and resulted in some fantastic collaborations.

CD Baby is crap. If it can't keep up with demand, it needs to go offline and back to the drawing board.

October 25 | Unregistered CommenterHeftie

MySpace has dropped the ball so many times it's not funny... They have had every opportunity in the world to be THE place for music, and for whatever reason they have never been able to execute the right solutions. There will be a new place soon.

October 25 | Unregistered CommenterEric Galen

@Mojo Bone:

"What if they enforced a minimum standard of musical competence/relevance?"

Think about the staffing demands that would involve. You couldn't be hiring minimum wage teenagers or outsourcing to Indians. That would require hiring an actual digital A&R serve as gatekeepers for a free service.

Not to mention the billions of customer service hours eaten by angry emails and complaints about being excluded. There's really no sane way to make that happen after the fact....and there's no cheap way to make that happen, ever.

October 25 | Unregistered CommenterJustin Boland

Well put sir. I concur. Thank you.

October 25 | Unregistered Commenterxraycharles

In response to Geoffrey Williams:

Thanks, your stuff sounds great as well. Awesome voice.

With the facebook badge I had to select "other" on the facebook pages promotion page. Myspace wasn't happy about it , and squashed it to a distorted size, so I had to edit the width and height in the code until it looked right.

Hope that helps.

October 26 | Unregistered CommenterCorey Coleman

Quit MySpace? sure! shall I go first?

October 26 | Unregistered Commenterdatemonthyear

Think about the staffing demands that would involve. You couldn't be hiring minimum wage teenagers or outsourcing to Indians. That would require hiring an actual digital A&R serve as gatekeepers for a free service.

Not to mention the billions of customer service hours eaten by angry emails and complaints about being excluded. There's really no sane way to make that happen after the fact....and there's no cheap way to make that happen, ever-Justin Boland

@ Justin Boland: I was kidding, or sorta kidding. I think it's absurd to think that a free website is gonna replace all the functions of a record label, but as has been pointed out above, several websites could. I think too many music sites are 'top down' solutions rather than looking at the problem from the bottom up. How does a fan find great, life-changing music? Recommendation engines and social networks are two ways, but there's gotta be something better. Maybe some combination of those minimum-wage teenagers and Uplaya, only maybe trick the teens into working for T-shirts and concert tickets.

October 26 | Unregistered CommenterMojo Bone

totally aggree with you. I needed some arguments for my co-band-members why to not concentrate on myspace and here it is. thanks

October 26 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

dubber has the right idea, someone needs to aggregate all the various media/social networking sites artists use into a single clean page to serve as a portal into their online world

October 26 | Unregistered Commenterblah

I am a huge fan of bandcamp. For a pure music offering, Bandcamp should certainly be the 'music' tab on your site.

Seth J.

October 26 | Unregistered Commenter@musicmatterseth

This is an awesome post and comment thread. I completely agree with everyone's thoughts here. MySpace was NEVER really about social networking. It was ALWAYS about music and the culture surrounding it. They've definitely squandered an opportunity. I know a lot of the new guys over there and they're all very talented. Maybe they can turn the ship, but it's definitely a huge task. Also, there are so many great solutions out there for bands to manage their "digital life". I particularly like Bandcamp for the music player and track sales component of the whole thing. Very smart team of guys there and a cool product.

October 26 | Unregistered CommenterMiles

Awesome post. About a year ago I said “…MySpace will slowly emerge as the new record label of the decade, if they continue to focus on music networking.” - Keywords: "IF" and "Music Networking"

If they can sort this out, it would completely change everything for the music biz: ticket sales, events, merchandise, fan groups, tours, live concerts via video, music video mashups..

They could be be THE most dominant music label.

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterDan Reich

I quit myspace last year after it was painfully clear they had ZERO respect for their users or the artists. It's basically a spam fest every time you visit.

The smart bands will move on to

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterVeken Gueyikian


November 1 | Unregistered CommenterJG

Just think of how many hours of human lives have been wasted try to make your MySpace 'look cool'.

November 3 | Unregistered CommenterEric

Hey Love the mind map,,,,

How about clickbank for Sign us to your Label?

mmm that's got me thinking

November 10 | Unregistered CommenterPaulsongster

I can't stand Myspace, I have one, mind as it's the one place non-musicians have heard of. What I do like about it is that it's non-genre-specific and the social networking thing is an asset in that I can hook up with burlesque artists, mask makers, and photographers who my band might have a lot in common with but who aren't necessarily musicians.

November 10 | Unregistered CommenterAbi

I'm in, spreading the word now..

November 10 | Unregistered CommenterJohn Morton

I saw someone comment on this recently so I thought I would link to this story. I recently interviewed someone at MySpace Music and I thought it might be interesting to hear what they are planning:

November 10 | Unregistered CommenterRick Goetz

I think could be the next myspace, but that's just my 2 eurocents...

November 14 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Andersson

I wish people would stop trying to recreate the wheel with another internet sensation. Study business and what's really going on with the music industry to realize that it's saturated and is going back to the grassroots level. It's already happening.

November 14 | Unregistered CommenterMrAnnex

Whenever I hear about an artist that I've never heard of before, the first thing I do is go to Google and do a search. Typically, on the very first page of results is a link to the artist's Myspace page. My point is that Myspace is still VERY relevant.

To me, its sort of like a business card or small brochure that gives you an introduction to the artist. You can simply go to the page, listen to a few tracks, check out some pics and read a short bio, then go on about your day. I've become a fan to plenty of artist based on their Myspace page alone.

I would recommend that any artist get a nice simple design, short bio, some pics, and like 4 or 5 of your best songs and post em up. It can only help, not hurt.


December 7 | Unregistered CommenterMefe

I quit My Space about a week ago ...... before finding this blog. Excellent read and the comments are good.

My Space WAS the defacto site to go to ...... but many abandoned it in favour of other sites. Musicians selling to other musicians. I have been on many "music" sites with profiles and the issue I see is that none of them will divulge the true number of non-musician "fans." From ReverbNation to OurStage to so many others. There's no point in posting your music on any site unless you have potential fans there - not just other musicians doing the exact same thing.

My Space is DEAD - we won't come back regardless of what they try to do to improve it. Novelty also played a role in it's popularity. Facebook is far worse for posting music but ...... THAT is where everyone is today. ReverbNation - wow, some really good features but it is just as DEAD as My Space. The only thing keeping RN alive is the fact it is one of the few sites that can link my music directly to my FB site.

And, remember the saying "you get what you pay for."


December 26 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Shaw

Sadly, the author and the majority of the comments fail to realize that the bands and artists on myspace are not and never were the point of myspace nor any other social networking site.
The core users are the teens/pre-teens and young adults who will click on the mindless ads and buy something.

Social networking sites make their money based on click through traffic. Advertisers pay them to carry their ads and pay them a given percentage based on the amount of traffic and resultant revenue those placements produce.

As for myspace essentially cornering the market on a sheer numbers basis where artists are concerned, this was never the point. Artists saw a potential untapped contact point to fans and potential fans and lept onboard. As the number of artists increased, the novelty wore thin leaving many thousands of artists finding they came too late to the party

Now, the fans don't care and go to facebook, twitter and similar sites to connect with their friends, family, etc. The social side is what made myspace a phenom to begin with, the commercialization is what is killing it. Not the twitter wanna-be angles now employed there.

If you think social networkings sites are about making money, you've your head up your rear. These sites at least to the non-artist users, are about making connections.

January 2 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Lee King

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