The relaunched MySpace has already found itself in trouble. It claims to be ‘the world’s largest library of digital music,’ but is appears not all of this is officially licensed. For MySpace, whose highest profile backer is Justin Timberlake, this is quite embarrassing.
The problem arises from MySpace’s history. There were always lots of users who illegally uploaded songs and never got found out. Now ‘New MySpace’ is mining that huge library of music, these illegal uploads are appearing in searches.
When you search for an artist, if a small ‘v‘ badge appears next to a result, then it’s verified and official. But there are few of these, and it’s difficult in many cases to work out what’s an official account or not. You can see that Timberlake has an official page:
Whereas, Talking Heads, who I picked out of thin air, have four unofficial pages:
As well as being a potential legal issue, most importantly it makes MySpace look amateurish. Licensing was a huge barrier for streaming music services, and it took companies like Spotify a long time to hammer out the deals which have made it such an impressive and popular service today.
In contrast, by using their dusty old catalog of often user uploaded songs, MySpace offers you a patchy and outdated selection of music to listen to. It may be that MySpace hoped to launch first, and iron out these problems later, but in the face of better competition it’s hard to see how it can hope to thrive.
Have you tried New MySpace?