Take a look above at the face of a media tycoon who lost half a billion on a lil start-up called social network called MySpace today. I imagine this was the look he had when the hopes of selling at the proposed valuation of $100 million fell quickly to $35 million. Especially when you take into account the initial purchase of $580 million was supposed to turn into a billion dollar venture. Here is the stark reality of what today shaped up to be for Ruport and his News Corp.
So why did this end in an epic fail? Why didn’t they lead the social networking pack through conception to the teen-age years it lives in now? Here are my top 5 reasons MySpace went from mighty to the fallen:
- They took the power from the people and gave it to the advertiser.
- They tried to launch a closed niche music label/distribution platform.
- They ignored the competition.
- They ignored the content creators.
- They ignored the consumers.
The first fatal flaw in the MySpace business model was giving the advertiser priority while alienating the people who made the platform attractive to the advertiser in the first place. While they traveled this road, the competitors like Facebook and Youtube came along to replace core functionality the people liked in MySpace. The content creators quickly moved to more diverse social platforms that had benefits of advertising revenue sharing, opt in networks, and open development opportunities for customization.
The news today doesn’t surprise me. I have seen this day coming for a while. MySpace’s last ditch efforts of buying companies like iLike, who offered more functionality, raised the white flag of surrender. The mighty fall when they ignore their audience and brand.
I joked for years with artists, vendors, and friends that MySpace was like the dark side of town. It was the shady, downtown shopping district where you would run into anything and everything. In significant contrast, there was Facebook that represented the more civilized shopping districts where people knew what they were getting into…because they were empowered to choose their experience. As a digital marketer, I embrace the cleaner platforms that serve the people.
I have no idea what Justin Timberlake has cooking up on the new MySpace launch front. He is part owner now, which can be many things. Maybe he can “bring sexy back” to this dying platform. He has a President Obama “Hope” size workload cut out for himself. I don’t think it will ever be back near the 2005 days…and I think Rupert is happy to see it go. Ironically, it’s sold to an advertising network called Specific Media. That says it all.
Breathe In & Smile Out,