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There Will Never Be Another Myspace

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Occasionally you still read sensationalist headlines about “The Facebook Killer” or “The New Myspace,” but we’re finally starting to move past the era of “new” social networks.

Facebook isn’t cool anymore. People obviously still use it. But it’s to feed their addiction.

No bands have ever “broken” on Facebook. And they won’t. Facebook chose early on that it wasn’t going to be Myspace. It wasn’t going to be for music.

Fine.

Musician Pages are nothing more than a quick legitimacy checkpoint. And to see how “popular” you are. Or rather, if I should pay attention.

But numbers can be gamed and bought.

After Facebook drastically reduced Page reach and now force Page owners (broke ass musicians) to pay to reach their fans, the importance of the Musician Page is dying fast.

What’s next? People are asking about (and some are creating) ANOTHER social networking site that’s music centric to be “The Next Myspace.”

But it will never catch on.

The social networking behemoths are over. They’re bulky and clunky. Last decade.

Now we’re about apps.

Specificity.

Instagram. WhatsApp. Snapchat. Vine. Tumblr. Reddit. SoundCloud. Ways to connect quickly and to accomplish a very specific purpose or scratch a very specific itch.

Even dating websites are history. Tinder solved that. If you don’t think OKCupid or Match.com will be more Tinder-esk in a couple years you probably think Downloading mp3s is still the future.

We’ve shifted the majority of our focus to our phones if you haven’t noticed. Those who do all their Facebooking and Tweeting from their Desktops are over 35. Gen Y is phone centric.

And that’s the future.

SoundCloud is the closest app to be able to scale with music. It’s mobile. It encourages interaction, timestamped commenting, virality and, most importantly, constant content.

SoundCloud sorts your songs chronologically (when you released them on SoundCloud) and you have to pay if you want to feature anything else at the top of your profile.

But this is because it’s not meant for album campaigns, but constant creation. Remixes. Alternate versions. Interviews. Podcasts. Radio programs.

That’s what fans crave these days. Constant content. Why do you think YouTubers release a new video EVERY WEEK?

But SoundCloud isn’t the new Myspace either. Sure, it is music-centric, unlike most of the other social networks, but it’s not going to be the default landing page for anyone.

There isn’t a NEED for a new Myspace because now everything is connected.

SongKick grabs shows from everywhere and integrates to Spotify (and millions of other websites). SoundCloud integrates with BandPage to Facebook and elsewhere. BandPage, SongKick, BandsInTown, ReverbNation and GigPress all send show info to Google’s side bar.

YouTube is the default place to quickly check out a band’s music. Spotify is for those who want to dig deeper and star favorite songs. The Facebook Musician Page is to publicly acknowledge that you dig the band. And the band’s official website is (and has always been) the spider to the musician web.

ReverbNation is a joke. It’s for ReverbNation employees to make money. Any band who focuses their promotional efforts or spends any money on RN is wasting their time and money. I roll my eyes whenever any band shouts “We’re #1 in our city on ReverbNation.” RN is for the lowest common denominator and for musicians who are too lazy to actually put in the effort to figure out what the BEST tools to use are. RN has the most tools, but they’re far from the best at anything. It tried to be the new Myspace, but it got too greedy and territorial. Instead of letting bands and fans customize or claim any kind of ownership, it forces everyone to pledge allegiance to ReverbNation in the form of email signups, account creation, annoying pop ups and forced logins.

Check the top ten charts on RN for the US for all genres. You’ve heard of maybe 4 of the bands. Blondie and Chaka Khan make the list.

Enough Said.

As more companies start teaming up to connect the data, the less work fans need to do to get information.

But the more work bands, managers and labels need to do to keep up.

Photo by MissCassanova from Flickr used with the Creative Commons License

 

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of Ari’s Take. He is hosting the free Ari’s Take Music Business MeetUp in Hollywood on March 29th at the Hotel Cafe. Sign up here. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

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Comments (38)
  1. visitor

    sites like http://www.daytrotter.com/ are the future. artists releasing more and different versions to multiple outlets that are unique to that outlet as opposed to one album that is everywhere. evolution will be in differentiation, it’s not content that’s king, but rather it’s context is king.


    Reply
  2. Veteran Talent Buyer / Promoter

    I use Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and YouTube. Nothing else. I occasionally am forced to use Reverbnation, but I’d rather not. My teenage grandsons only use YouTube. They don’t even know about bandcamp and soundcloud.


    Reply
  3. Allysen Callery

    Aw, Ari- you make me embarrassed to be using Reverbnation!
    I have to say, as lame and ugly as it might be,
    it does have a very easy and convenient calendar to input dates, plus a mailing list sign up that is free .
    I’ve never paid them a dime & anyone can see where I’m playing , stream my music , or watch video.
    MySpace was great, and back in the day it’s where I made a lot of my first international contacts, and we all still keep in touch via Facebook/Twitter, sharing soundcloud links . It’s a brave new world.
    xo for all you do!


    Reply
    1. Not again...

      You realize that Ari is not an actual journalist, right? i.e. not burdened by facts and such. Allowed to write whatever rubbish the editor approves, yes? The goal is entertainment not news, right?

      Honestly, if you let anyone tell you that you are an unimportant or lazy musician if you use this tool, or that software, or play this instrument, or wear those clothes, or play that gig, you have bigger problems my dear. Those answers can only be found inside you – not thrust upon you by the outside world casting judgment here and there.

      People, Ari is paid to create click-bait (which he actually may be better at than creating music, honestly). Stop expecting actual journalism from him or any other blogger. You’re only setting yourself up for disappointment. I can’t believe this still has to be stated in 2014.


      Reply
      1. Thomas Jackson

        I don’t know, man. I checked out Ari’s music on his website and it’s pretty legit. I’m not really into that style of singer/songwriter music, give me Metallica or Ramones, but it’s clear he spent a lot of time on it and the quality is there. Maybe take a listen to the guy you’re bashing first?


        Reply
        1. Not again...

          I didn’t bash his music, I compared it to his ability to write click-bait.


          Reply
          1. pibomarco

            I dont understant what bothers you exactly?.. I agree almost with all articles he wrote. From the other hand, he didnt tell us that much new info, that we already didn’t know.. But those articles are helpful to keep in mind for the problems in music industry and not ignoring them or taking them for granted..


            Reply
  4. what a douche

    “RN is for the lowest common denominator and for musicians who are too lazy to actually put in the effort to figure out what the BEST tools to use are.”

    Wow. Ari reveals himself as the judge and jury of all musicians. How refreshing and wonderful to realize that I am a loser in Ari’s opinion – and he hasn;t even met me nor heard my music.

    I suppose that if I use Anrdoid instead of iPhone I’m part of the lowest common denomiator too (and don’t forget lazy), since I didn’t figure out what the BEST tools are. What if I drive a Ford instead of a Tesla? I actually like RN b/c everything IS integrated (instead of requiring me to have a different email vendor, a diferent hosting company, etc).

    Ari = the 1% = wanker

    And to the person who posted above, don’t feel bad for a second. Haters like Ari are all over the music industry. Its how you ignore them that will make the difference.

    What a douche.


    Reply
    1. DJ

      Sounds like someone has dedicated his entire advertising budget to RN. whoops!


      Reply
    2. Uhhhhh no

      Just because RN makes it easy for YOU and YOU don’t want to change doesn’t mean YOU should use it. That’s like saying a Palm Pilot can do email, facebook AND twitter, so might as well use that.

      RN email service sucks. So does their music player, distribution service, and their “submission service.” I don’t think Ari went far enough. I had fans complain when I sent them to my RN page about how ugly and complicated it was for THEM. Who’s more important you or your fans?


      Reply
  5. BD

    This was an interesting read! Nice to see that I’m onto something with my master project in design (visual communication) regarding digital music solutions.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ari Herstand, I hope I manage to hit the nail on the head with my project.


    Reply
  6. Veteran Talent Buyer / Promoter

    I sit on three professional festival talent advisory committees + am a talent adviser for a local five venue group, and three local NGOs. In the first quarter of this year we have so far evaluated over 1200 submissions for three festivals. Of those, we signed about 150 local acts to appear. YouTube was the go-to choice for evaluations. Second to that was the band’s website… looking for, you got it – performance video. It was uncomfortable and at times embarrassing. If I could get every act to realize just how important the visual is … if only …. and not just the visual, but the manner by which the visual representation is presented. iPhone videos just don’t cut it.

    YOUTUBE FOLKS!!


    Reply
    1. interpreneur

      which other tools do you use


      Reply
  7. Distance Left

    @Promoter, I assume Vimeo is just as acceptable if you don’t happen to like YouTubes TOS?

    Nicely put Ari, I read the RN TOS, utter cack, a friend of mine drank the kool-aid and bought in once.


    Reply
    1. Veteran Talent Buyer / Promoter

      @Promoter, I assume Vimeo is just as acceptable if you don’t happen to like YouTubes TOS?

      Sure, but no one I know other than me has even heard of Vimeo. So, unless directed specifically from an artist website to follow that lead, it’s a deadline on arrival in my world.


      Reply
  8. Dave

    Sites like Obfessed.com are the future. Music sites that serve a specific purpose (in this case music festival reviews)


    Reply
  9. Team AAMPP

    AAMPP (pronounced Amp) http://aampp.net the future. for artists, agents, managers, producers, promoters and fans. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ari, I hope we hit the nail on the head with AAMPP.


    Reply
  10. Noah Copeland

    Ari has some good stuff to say, but some times I feel he’s a little too hipster for me (though he claims to be far from hipsters). Everything becomes lame so quickly to him. But I do appreciate the honesty and the very direct style of writing.


    Reply
    1. Dead Beats

      Ari just jumped the shark.


      Reply
  11. digitalfanclubs

    That’s right, the days of third parties putting themselves between the artist and fan SHOULD be over soon. But this entire thread is about intermediaries. All of the services mentioned in comments are similar to Facebook in that their brand is what fans see first. So, YES, it i all about apps. But artists should start spending their time and energy figuring out how to get their own branded mobile fan club app… not something powered by another brand, but their own. These apps work like the old fashioned fan club and give artists a way to speak directly with their fans, collect and OWN all of the fan data, and give artists new and exciting ways to monetize their fan bases.

    http://digitalfanclubs.com/if-you-owned-twitter-or-facebook/


    Reply
  12. Mike

    Paul,

    As you know, I have never posted in response to anything written on DMN, but I am obliged to react to this article which demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the independent artist community.

    To casually characterize millions of artists (our users and your audience) as “the lowest common denominator” and “lazy,” is both offensive and inaccurate.

    I don’t think I need to explain how it offends.

    It is inaccurate because ReverbNation represents a huge swath of the entire artist community — from emerging to professional to famous and everywhere in between. Creating music that evokes emotion within people is hard, it takes time, and at any given moment, an artist on ReverbNation is somewhere on their journey.

    Frankly, we’re proud of our artist community and are surprised that you would disparage such a significant percentage of you readers. Perhaps you should consider apologizing to them.

    Michael Doernberg, CEO
    ReverbNation


    Reply
    1. Paul Resnikoff

      Mike,

      I hope that I can clarify a few things.

      First, this is Ari’s opinion, not mine. Ari and I disagree on many things. Yes, of course I understand that I’m the publisher and owner of DMN, I sign the checks, I control the domain, and could delete this article right now (or that section, if Ari still wanted to write for DMN after that level of editing). But if I did that, it would be a huge setback for this publication; it’s important to me that Ari express his opinions as they are, even if I disagree with them. Ari didn’t sign up to be heavily edited or just to agree with me.

      Part of the reason I’m expanding in this direction is that DMN can’t be just about my thoughts and ideas, it has to be broader than that. It’s painful at times because I want to rip apart a page, delete it, or bury it, because I violently disagree. But I’m just one voice, and my opinions are passionate but not shared by everyone (just look at the comments section if you need proof of that). There are other intelligent people in the room, with experiences and perspectives I could never have (because I’m one person, living in one country, etc.)

      With that, I am expanding DMN into a broader forum, with even more voices and a greater range of opinions (we’re working on a forum expansion now, and a whole list of other things that might blow your mind). Mike, I’ve had long discussions with you, I’ve been in Durham and seen what you guys are developing and releasing, you have always been a leader in this industry and a great friend of mine and ally of DMN. So I hope that you’ll use this floor to explain why you feel this piece is misguided or misdirected.

      That, to me, is how we all gain.

      Paul


      Reply
  13. Muso

    ReverbNation’s whole business is based on acquiring gazillions of free users, locking them in, sending them 6-8 emails a day, and up-selling them a long list of half-baked premium services of dubious value. And then providing them with very little customer service.

    It did start as a music focused service and community, and many good well intentioned people are still at Reverb. But with the years it has regretfully become just another Internet company, all about cheap user acquisition and conversion rates, and pleasing outside investors.


    Reply
  14. Willis

    You can’t recreate the past. There will never be another anything that is exactly the same, but there will be things that are similar. With online/digital, things are constantly churning forward as users are fickle. What’s hot now, won’t be soon, but there will be something to take its place.


    Reply
  15. Bob

    This article could be bad news for a small classical record label like us ( http://www.yarlungrecords.com ) but it intrigues me and reminds me yet again that we are in a Service business, not a Sales business. If we can make music by our musicians available to the general public, we “win.” So far SoundCloud has done a good job for us with this ( https://soundcloud.com/yarlung-records ) and of course SoundCloud is free. Our distributor made the conscious decision to stay with Spotify, too. We’ll see what the next generation of apps bring us, but in the meantime, we haven’t given up on Facebook entirely yet. We seem to have a lot of friends, real friends, because we haven’t bought them! https://www.facebook.com/yarlung.artists


    Reply
  16. anonymous

    I find two things very ironic:
    1) That Ari worked with ReverbNation to do a guest blog post on touring – http://blog.reverbnation.com/2013/02/11/how-to-tour-without-losing-money/
    2) That you can’t attend the meet-up (He is hosting the free Ari’s Take Music Business MeetUp in Hollywood on March 29th at the Hotel Cafe) unless you pay $12.50 for a ticket to his show.

    tisk tisk, Ari


    Reply
    1. Donovan

      Seems like brilliant marketing to me. Host a meetup to get people to your show. Wish I would have thought of that! I looked into it. Technically the meetup is free, but the show costs money. Or rather it costs money to get into the Hotel Cafe. I just got my ticket. I’m curious to see how this guy performs after all his posts about it!

      It is a little funny that he wrote for the company he bashed. I doubt they’ll ask him again.


      Reply
    2. Roshambo72

      I can’t wait for the April 2015 article, on whatever website he’s writing for at that point, blasting Digital Music News as untrustworthy propaganda.


      Reply
      1. Paul Resnikoff

        LOL. Why wait until 2015?


        Reply
          1. Roshambo72

            Well, okay, in reading that article and some of the other comments between you and Paul, I get the feeling Paul hired you to be something of a rabble-rouser, a dissenting opinion. It’s cool that you have that opportunity, since most blogs/trades/websites probably aren’t that generous. But still, there’s a difference. This article basically slanders RN. Nothing you wrote in that article about Thom Yorke and how DMN was totally wrong equals the vitriol of, “ReverbNation is a joke. It’s for ReverbNation employees to make money.” I don’t want to get into a pissing contest, but it doesn’t strike me as good business to attack a company that previously offered their hand to you, that’s all.


            Reply
  17. Versus

    “That’s what fans crave these days. Constant content. Why do you think YouTubers release a new video EVERY WEEK?”

    False. I am a fan, and I am not interested in “constant content”. I find constant content irritating, overwhelming, exhausting, and, most DMNing of all, of typically mediocre quality.

    I want quality, not quantity. I would far prefer that a musician release a brilliant album of lasting value every 10 years (or once in a lifetime, into the blue again, after the money’s gone) than a weekly torrent [sic] of singles, eps, alternate versions, remixes, free versions, live versions, remix contest winners, remix contest losers, videos, teaser videos, making-of videos, making-of making-of videos, wardrobe malfunction videos, interview videos, stupid pet tricks videos.

    Then again, I may be in the minority.


    Reply
  18. Versus

    Soundcloud: does not pay creators 1 penny. EVER.


    Reply
  19. Redd

    Ari makes valid points but myspace is probably a better user experience than most know (I’m listening to the radio right now, great music). I love the new myspace


    Reply
  20. Elliot Peter Guilbe

    Love the article Ari! I concur & would love to hear from those in the music industry on a number of other topics..clearly there’s a lot of exp in the people that take the time to comment here. Just trying to make some connections and bridge the gap to financial independence with my team’s music endeavors. Give me a shout on any social media site to talk further @ClutchMasterE.


    Reply
  21. Rassilon

    Did I read this right? The CEO of Reverbnation came on this comments section to complain? How about he get on with fixing his site so some of the public actually want to go there? Reverbnation = a flashy shop window in a no-go part of town, grabbing in more and more stock even though no-one’s looking, let alone buying.


    Reply
  22. Anonymous

    nothing wrong with reverbnation as a guide for plays … that is the stat. some of us did the touring rock star thing for 25 plus years, done with the touring thing…and now does it on inspiration, not the music conglomerate but for the sake of the music. so im proud when i hit number one for 365 days straight because of promotion. at that time myspace was still the old myspace and those connects counted as well as a way to promote online. but plays dont lie. period. we know the kids dont buy .. but if they like they listen .. period. .. use everything is my motto .. weather your heard once or a billion if you inspire just ONE you made a difference in someones world.


    Reply

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