Last week we finally got a first look at the new Myspace, a sleek, smart, conceptual twist on one of the original social networks. New owners Chris and Tim Vanderhook and Justin Timberlake have more than managed to inspire renewed interested in a platform that very nearly faded into the darkest corners of the Internet.
But the Myspace revival isn’t only UI-deep, and BusinessInsider has gotten its hands on a very revealing pitch deck from the company. According to the document, Myspace plans to challenge Spotify and Pandora and position itself as a top streaming service. Interactive Media (owned by the Vanderhooks) is looking to raise $50 million toward the site’s relaunch – $10 million dedicated to marketing, $15-$25 million for licensing deals, and another $15-$25 for general expenses.
Right now, the new Myspace features an embedded music player that follows you around the site, as well as a video player that automatically fills the screen (which you can optionally pop into the lower right-hand corner). There is no downloadable client, it’s all Web-based, and at the moment there are no premium account options. Of course, in our time with Myspace last week, it was emphasized that we were getting a very early look at the site, and that there’s plenty of growing and building to do. Specifically, the team said the platform would follow what the community of artists and users wanted – including ways to sell merchandise and download music.
And in the pitch deck, you can see Myspace plans to deliver; prospective plans include “subscription, transaction (downloads, merchandise, tickets),” and something called “Myspace TV.” The transaction model is slated to launch in 2013.
The fact the Myspace is positioning itself to take on Spotify and Pandora isn’t surprising. The company has deals with all four major labels as well as an impressive number of indie labels and artists – five million unsigned artists to be exact (the catalog boasts 42 million songs in total). This slide right here pinpoints the competition Myspace is about to get itself into:
And here’s why it thinks it can do things better: “Myspace has a significant cost advantage with respect to the music streaming costs compared to Spotify and Pandora because our proprietary 27,000,000 song library from unsigned artists accounts for ~50 percent of song plays on our services and has a zero cost basis … Myspace pays the lower Radio rate on the vast majority of our label related song plays.”
Myspace plans to leverage its vast amount of unsigned music and artists to propel itself among other streaming services, which is a bold move: The streaming wars have so far been won by being able to provide licensed music (right, Google Music?). But Myspace also has the four major labels in its arsenal, making it a very viable option. It’s definitely a much more immersive, versatile experience than either Spotify or Pandora, although its plans for introducing a transaction model will likely play a huge role in its potential. For now, we’ll continue to try out the beta and see how this all unfolds in the coming months.