Last month, Myspace Music president Courtney Holt resigned from what was purportedly the only stable feature left of the former social titan. It was just one more punch to MySpace, which has been in a slow demise for the better part of a year. After the site slashed jobs worldwide and reportedly lost millions of users over the course of a few weeks, we might finally be hearing the death toll of MySpace.
#1: User falloff
The user drop off has been a significant blow to the site. According to the BBC, “year on year the site has lost almost 50 million users,” worse yet losing 10 million of those between January and February of this year. Apparently, the overhaul and renewed focus on music and entertainment weren’t enough to keep users loyal or recruit new ones.
There’s always the sting of defeat when you so publicly lose your users like MySpace did, but worse yet is how many stops it pulled out trying to prevent exactly that. First the site remodel, and then the dreaded Facebook integration. There was some hope that the collaboration would put a little life in MySpace, give it some renewed interest and a piece of Facebook’s social graph. Looks like too little too late.
#2: (Subsequent) Advertiser falloff
When the users go, so do the advertisers. It’s not just the fact that registered accounts continue to decrease, it’s the fact that those who still retain one aren’t spending much time on the site. The Wall Street Journal reports new data shows that MySpace visitors’ average time spent on the site has plummeted 59 percent in the last year. The report goes on to quote Hilton senior VP of global online services Chuck Sullivan, who doesn’t hold back: “Their fall from relevance has been so significant, that advertising on MySpace just doesn’t make sense to us.” The hotel brand has decided against advertising on the site for the last two years.
#3: News Corp in talks with Vevo
As if drastic user loss weren’t enough, there’s also the fact that MySpace owner News Corp is rumored to be working out the details to sell the site to Vevo. It’s no secret that MySpace’s parent company has been trying to rid itself of the plagued site for some time now, openly criticizing its numbers and sending non-too-vague warnings. Now The Telegraph reports that News Corp will try to unload MySpace on Vevo. Vevo is a three-year-old company owned by Universal Music, Sony Music, and Abu Dhabi Media Company and is a platform for music video and digital shorts streaming. It has a formidable userbase of 60 million and will launch in the UK soon.
Honestly, it seems like Vevo and MySpace would be a pretty good fit: Vevo could use MySpace’s social graph (for what it’s worth) and make use of artists’ fan followings. Unfortunately the chances of anything being inked are “slim.” Still, these are the firmest talks (those Zynga rumors never amounted to much) we’ve heard since News Corp made it clear MySpace has a big “for sale” sign on it.
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