Former social networking star MySpace will have a new focus and ambition when its new owners, Specific Media and Justin Timberlake, relaunch it this year: to be the premier music destination on the internet.
MySpace was purchased by advertizing network Specific Media at the end of June, and pop music star Justin Timberlake took a stake in and will help shape its future. NewsCorp purchased the social networking website for $580 million in 2005 when its popularity was still on the rise.
MySpace will be targeting competitors Spotify, Vevo, and iTunes as it works towards becoming a full fledged music hub.
Spotify, which launched in the fall of 2008, uses a light software application to let its users listen to entire albums or single tracks with no delay or buffering. Spotify is currently available in Finland, France, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Vevo is a premier music video and entertainment website that launched in December 2009 through a partnership between Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment (SME), and Abu Dhabi Media Company. VEVO has over 1.4 billion worldwide streams and boasts 50 million unique visitors from the U.S. and Canada every month.
And iTunes, of course is Apple’s digital music player, introduced in 2001, that lets users play and organize their digital music, video, and podcast files.
MySpace’s new vice-president for Global Marketing, Al DeJewski, compared MySpace’s first eight year run to the life-cycle of a young adult man who discovered he liked to express himself with music but then became sidetracked, fattened up and bogged down after adding to many other tangential activities like horoscopes and classified ads.
Mr. Dejewski said this young adult males needs to be put on a diet, clean out its system, and get back to its foundation, which Specific Media believes is music. “No other music destination online today can claim the breadth of partnership we have with the four major music labels in addition to the tens of millions of independent artists and the library of their songs.”
Mr. Dejewski, who was with Pepsi-Cola for ten years and most recently was VP of Marketing and Promotions for Turner Broadcasting, will use two branding agencies to try to get celebrities and partners from the automotive, packaged good, and quick service restaurant space help build MySpace’s new branding identity.