When Specific Media purchased MySpace from News Corp. in June, critics wondered why anyone would buy the fallen social networking giant. Now, MySpace's Al Dejewski tells Ad Age that Specific Media plans to revamp the site later this year as a digital music hub that will compete with proven heavyweights iTunes, Spotify, and Vevo. Details of what exactly the new music-focused MySpace would offer are extremely vague — but the site does already have contracts with the four major music labels. Could this work, or is it time for MySpace to face the music and admit it's over?
MySpace doesn't stand a chance: "Any product deemed an 'iTunes killer' by its creator or the media is probably going to fail," says Glenn Peoples at Billboard. So consider MySpace doomed. The idea of a music hub is "anything but original," and the site won't be able to hack it in a market dominated by iTunes and overcrowded with struggling competitors. To be successful in digital music, MySpace needs to specialize and become an invaluable provider of a single, much-needed service — not copy proven winners.
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Actually, this could work: For all the stifled chuckles that typically follow any MySpace news, says Andrew Winistorfer at Prefix, the site is actually "in a good position moving forward." Admittedly, Specific Media's purchase of MySpace was "a head-scratcher," but its ambition to carve out a large presence in the digital music space "actually makes sense." Boasting contracts with the four major labels, and a respectable base of users already, the site might even have an advantage over some of its competitors.
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Regardless, it's smart to focus on music: At least the site isn't attempting to revive itself "as a Facebook or Twitter killer," says Raymond Wong at DVICE. "Especially now that Google+ is skyrocketing to the top" of the social media world, the worst mistake MySpace could make — and the last thing the world needs — is another Facebook competitor. Music is a much better bet.
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