MySpace is a social networking and self-promotion website with a strong music community. It offers streaming, radio, and uploads to all registered users. Between 2005 and 2008, MySpace was the most popular social networking site in the world. Even now, the website consistently ranks highly in traffic among other popular music streaming services. Since 2010, however, MySpace has begun to lose followers to other social media giants, like Facebook.
MySpace is a well-established music streaming service, with many features:
- All registered users receive a profile page, which displays information about them, their favorite music, and their creative talents. Users may choose up to four categories to describe themselves, including options like "musician," "dancer," and "entrepreneur." Once registered, users can update their profiles with biographical information and portfolio pieces. Users can upload photos, videos, songs, or music mixes. All profiles and music histories are available to the public, unless the user specifically elects to make them private.
- MySpace allows users to create playlists and view songs from music archives. It also makes suggestions for new music based on a user's preferences and listening history.
- MySpace provides tracking for the site's most popular music, according to genre and location. Users may track popular music in their own country, and in others.
- MySpace offers personal analytics in the form of weekly "highlights." These highlights display the posts that received the most online interaction, whether through views, listens, or shares.
- MySpace allows users to connect with the artists and mixes they enjoy, which introduces new content into their feed. The MySpace feed continually updates as connected artists post new media.
- MySpace lets users "Like" different artists and add their comments to the artist page, where they can engage with other fans and, sometimes, the artist themselves.
- MySpace offers an iOS and Android mobile app. The mobile MySpace app includes editing capabilities for photos or GIFs, with different filters.
- In addition to curated playlists, MySpace offers a variety of radio stations.
- Within personalized mixes, users can skip songs as often as they like. Users can elect to shuffle music, repeat the entire mix, or repeat only one song.
- Each song links directly to the artist page, where MySpace suggests similar music. The artist pages also feature past albums, event listings, connections, photos, similar artists, and influences. For example, on the artist page for The Piano Guys, MySpace space lists their influences as: Billy Joel, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Manheim Steamroller.
- For some, more popular songs, MySpace sources from YouTube to auto-play music videos within the music dashboard. Users can click the YouTube logo to watch the video on YouTube itself. Once YouTube loads, the video resumes where it paused on MySpace.
- Selecting "Radio" while listening to a mix will generate suggestions for stations in the same genre.
- MySpace offers a messaging client for all users, which allows them to communicate with one another instantly. Notifications arrive at the bottom of the screen, next to the user's dashboard.
- MySpace rates each song in a user's search according to their listening history and the preferences listed on their profile. This rating is called "affinity," and measures how likely listeners are to enjoy a particular piece of music.
- MySpace offers 50 million songs, which is among the highest offered by any music streaming service.
- In 2007, MySpace launched the MySpace Transmissions, which are a series of live, in-studio recordings featuring well-known artists. These recordings are eventually mad accessible to all users.
The Bottom Line
MySpace is a social networking site first and a music streaming service second. Even then, MySpace has essentially disappeared from the social media scene since Facebook claimed large portions of its online audience in 2008. Its streaming capabilities are integrated well into the site's design, but the bells and whistles aren't worth the fuss unless a user also uses the site to upload their own media. In which case, MySpace may serve as a critical success tool; as of 2015, around 8 million new artists have been discovered through MySpace. Ultimately, MySpace's music service is well suited for anyone trying to expose their music to new listeners, but most other music services would better suit someone who only wants to listen.