The New MySpace, JT, and missed opportunities

Justin Timberlake, star of boy bands, movies, pepsi commercials and recently adding the job description of angel investor ponied up some big time cash to invest in dying (lets face it, that’s what was happening to it) social network MySpace. Last year, the site was remade and polished to cosmetically (see screen shot below) look more appealing.  The remade site also features a revamped UI with a focus on music and artists.  The result of the changes seemed to be more of a Pinterest-like UI with streaming music, which was similar to the old MySpace.  It has been in a beta-mode for a while now but recently Mr. Timberlake “officially” launched the new site with a big bash in L.A.

Since the big beta re-launch  Mr. TImberlake has released his first album in seven years. There was a multi channel marketing campaign for the release including a Saturday Night Live appearance, ads on Spotify, JT’s website, etc.  What’s missing from that list?? Just his new MySpace.  With the huge opportunity to bring many loyal fans to his new project, he opted to direct all of that traffic in other directions.

As is, there was a multilateral marketing campaign here and a tremendous opportunity for his new venture. Why couldn’t he have made the new MySpace a bigger part of the promotional mix? He could have offered an exclusive free stream of the first single “Suit and Tie” on MySpace for short time.  Or perhaps to take advantage of the new UI and look of the site, host the video for the new single there.

So why was this a missed opportunity?  It seems pretty obvious to me that singling out MySpace could have been huge for the new site. The only reasoning I can come up with is perhaps Sony Entertainment put it in his record deal that all web promotion had to go through his website (which they registered) or Spotify where they have licensing deals.  Maybe the site wasn’t ready to “go live?”  I don’t think that is it either because the new “beta” site had been seemingly pretty functional when I played around with it last year.

Regardless, I view this as a crucial missed opportunity for MySpace to be as relevant as they were six or seven years ago.  Don’t get me wrong, I think this version of MySpace can be somewhat successful, but in building a social media website and brand, the number of users you can bring to the site on a regular basis is absolutely critical.  Someone blew it with not making the new site a bigger part of this marketing campaign and I think MySpace will suffer greatly for it.

The "new" MySpace

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