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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Richard Holland

Richard Holland Managing Director

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How MySpace Started Its Rebirth by Alienating Its Most Loyal Customers

MySpace was, in many people’s opinion, the social network to be on for many years. In fact, in 2006, MySpace surpassed Google as the most visited website in the United States. The decline of MySpace began in 2008 as Facebook rose in popularity and became the newest social network of preference for many. MySpace’s user base has since declined from a peak user base of 125 million to its present day membership (as of June 2013) of 25 million. In 2011, a group which included singer Justin Timberlake, purchased MySpace and they vowed to revive the network.

MySpace has been focusing on attracting business presence and musical talent in addition to revamping the look and feel of their site. It appears that in order to achieve their goal, they felt it was necessary to delete “user blogs which had been maintained for upwards of six or more years,” according to this recent article in SocialNewsDaily.

While many users abandoned MySpace in the mass exodus that occurred between 2008 until now, these users remained loyal and continued to visit and use the site to record and share their daily thoughts and activities. This of course angered those fans that remained loyal; not just because of the loss of six or more years of their digital life; (which some users maintain as sort of a digital diary) but because they felt as if they are unimportant to the site they remained loyal to.

As one user wrote, “You have stolen six years of blogs and something that is priceless to me and cannot be replaced.”

MySpace has a long way to go and a definite uphill battle in its attempt to gain back market share and attention away from other more popular sites. By alienating their most loyal customers and deleting their loyal user’s content, they may have taken a huge step backwards. Big business and music talent certainly want publicity but what good is a social network that has no audience?

While MySpace may yet have to acquiesce and restore the blogs of their customers, they did at least recognize the importance of their customer base, even if only in words, when they made the following statement:

“Change isn’t easy and there has been a lot going on lately. We understand that this information is very important to you. Please understand that your blogs have not been deleted. Your content is safe and we have been discussing the best ways possible to provide you your blogs.”

The point is that loyal customers are the foundation of any business. Building your business on a solid foundation is extremely important. By threatening the instability of that foundation, MySpace may find itself in a position whereby the companies they want to attract have no reason to be there. A social network is, after all, not social if nobody’s at the party. Similarly, no business can survive without customers.

Eric Miltsch
Richard, A dying platform like MySpace, nack then, had no choice other than to pivot and ditch their core business model. Micro-blogging platforms, Wordpress and Facebook were all eating away at their market share. By alienating their original core customers they now have the ability to position the new MySpace as a leader is a new specific niche - music. Musicians loved what the old MySpace provided them. Rather than trying to be something for everyone, the simply decided to be something special for musicians and those interested in consuming their content. I doubt Myspace will even bother with the old blogs, their focus is clearly on music. The new mobile recently launched makes music a priority over social connections; the TV campaign solidifies this positioning as well. Obviously, I'm a fan of the new Myspace site, the app and what they're trying to do within the music segment. The site is still among the top 100 most visited sites in the world with ~9mm visitors/mo. Give it a little time to see what type of traction they build.
Richard Holland
Thanks for the comment, Eric. You may be right. Time will tell.
Eric Miltsch
My pleasure - thanks for sharing the post. It's always interesting to see how the big companies respond to situations like this.

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