Former social networking star MySpace, which saw its user base dwindle to a whisper of its first years and was sold, again, last year to Specific Media for a mere $35 million, this week announced that it has added over 1 million new users in the last 30 days.
MySpace, a social networking website inspired by Friendster, was considered the world’s biggest social networking website in late 2007, early 2008, having logged its 100th million member in August 2006. Facebook soon overtook it in the Alexa rankings and MySpace has since then seen its user numbers dwindle.
Developments since June of last year when Specific Media purchased MySpace with an investment from and partnership with pop singer Justin Timberlake. In August, MySpace announced it would re-launch as a music hub, then in January at the Consumer Electronics Show Panasonic announced it would partner with MySpace to introduce MySpace TV. This week, MySpace announced it has launched the MySpace Music Player, making it the website that offers the most free streaming music in the world, convincing more users to drop in again. The MySpace Music Player provides members with unlimited listening on demand, radio mode, recommendation engine, and Facebook integration.
MySpace CEO Tim Vanderhook explained in a statement that the new numbers provide evidence justifying their transformation into a music hub, and other changes, have been on the right track: “The numbers tell an amazing story of strong momentum and dramatic change for MySpace, and the 1-million plus new user accounts we’ve seen in the last 30 days validates our approach.”
MySpace claims it now has a whopping 42 million songs available in its online catalogue which can be listened to for free on its new music player, beating out Spotify which had 15 million songs in its catalogue in July 2011, and Pandora, which had 800,000 in February 2011. Facebook may be responsible, ironically, for bringing some users back on to MySpace, because its MySpace app lets users log onto MySpace with their Facebook credentials, and “mash-up” user data from Facebook. The number of Facebook members using the MySpace music app jumped from 900,000 active monthly users to 1.6 million during the four weeks ending on January 14th.
All of this data on the new and improved MySpace has this user convinced – I have logged on to MySpace with my Facebook credentials, although whether this process will complete is uncertain because 15 minutes later a message from MySpace displayed on a blank grey screen with my Facebook profile picture: “Just a sec David. We’re pulling your interests from Facebook and matching them up on MySpace.”
CEO Tim Vanderhook says the data shows there is a resurgence in interest in the social media world, in what MySpace is doing: “MySpace is building meaningful social entertainment experience around content, where consumers can share and discover the music they love. Consumers are getting excited about MySpace again, a testament to a great music product.”