Myspace will be the musical comeback of 2013

The Stone roses - were the musical comeback of 2012, in 2013 it will be MyspaceTake That, The Spice Girls, The Rolling Stones – yep, there’s no place quite like the Music industry for a good old fashioned comeback.  Did you know the phrase “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back” was created for a Frank Sinatra comeback in the early 70s, even though he’d never been known as ‘Blue Eyes’ in his entire career?  Well done that PR man.  And if The Stone Roses was THE music comeback of 2012, what am I bid for Myspace repeating the trick in 2013?

‘Who?’, I hear younger readers ask – and for many of us it might take a bit of effort to think back to a time when there was such a thing as social media which wasn’t wholly dominated in the media by Facebook and Twitter.  But it’s only six and a bit years since Myspace was getting more hits in the US annually than Google.  Astonishing but true.  More to the point, perhaps, it’s nearly five years since Myspace was overtaken by Facebook – after which, the obligatory Myspace address which featured in every music ad campaign soon began to disappear.  And it seemed like the name would ultimately take its place alongside audio cassettes and Rubik’s Cubes as a long forgotten, decade-defining fad.

But in case you haven’t heard, two things happened; firstly, Justin Timberlake and Specific Media Group bought Myspace for around £22m in June last year and showed off its slick redesign in September.  And secondly, they dropped the upper case ‘S’ in the middle of the name.  And now the word is that Myspace is one to watch in 2013.  We’ve all learnt over the past decade that all social media sites have a shelf life – could we be about to learn that with a bit of attention and a lot of budget, social media sites can come back from the dead?

The invite only relaunch of Myspace Music – with Mr Justin Timberlake as prime spokesperson – will offer a new experience that combines music, video, social media and news with reviews.  More than that, it seems Myspace intends to challenge SoundCloud, Pandora, Spotify and the rest of the streaming music services, with a new site experience – thanks in part to $50m being poured into the operation (“$10 million will go to marketing, $15-$25m will go to licensing deals with the music labels, and another $15 to $25m will be reserved for general working capital…).  Now that’s what I call a relaunch.For those of us who’ve worked in the Music industry since the dawning of the internet, there does feel like an element of the site coming back to reclaim its crown; the art of war, as any general will tell you, is to make sure you kill your enemy, lest it comes back – Facebook never did that.  And with such a powerful music figure as Mr Timberlake at the helm, it will be fascinating to see just how much ground it takes from other social media sites.  Certainly it will be more music and band-led, which is currently where SoundCloud does so well – but we’re promised a much more visual element than SoundCloud, and as technology moves on, maybe the time is right for Myspace to make the biggest music internet comeback ever.So there you have it: Myspace is my tip as The Stone Roses of 2013.  And after that?  Perhaps we could idly imagine comparing a comeback in 2014 for both The Smiths and Friends Reunited: potentially interesting, undoubtedly worth a giggle, but as we all know, it ain’t gonna happen in a million years.
David Silverman is managing director of Outpost Media.