New Myspace takes it back to the future - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

New Myspace takes it back to the future

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy of myspace.com Courtesy of myspace.com
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Tim and Chris Vanderhook think Myspace had it right -- at one point. And they believe they've revived and improved that formula for success as the revamped first titan of social media debuts its latest incarnation.

The Vanderhooks unveiled the new Myspace.com Wednesday, revealing a site focused on entertainment that combines social networking with streaming music. There are new features aimed at helping musicians, writers and other artists connect with their followers, an app and a radio function.

"Today more than ever there's this need for a creative ecosystem that kind of caters to the creative community and that's both a social network and the streaming services attached," Tim Vanderhook said. "For us when we looked at it, we really talked to a lot of artists and ... they all said, `I use all these various platforms but none of them really do what we need.' What they really needed, they explained to us, was a home."

The launch comes nearly two years after the Irvine, Calif.-based Specific Media owners teamed with Justin Timberlake to buy the ailing website for $35 million, a fraction of the $560 million News Corp. paid for it in 2005.

The new owners briefed media this week in the run-up to release. Timberlake was not made available, but the company says he provides the strategic vision for the company and was the person behind the idea of focusing on the creative community.

The Vanderhooks believe the previous owners made a mistake when they tried to compete with emerging force Facebook. At its peak, they believe Myspace was driven by a sense of discovery and sharing. Bands, for instance, would post songs, tour schedules and blogs for fans to follow. It was more direct than a website and gave users the first true sense of social media's larger possibilities.

"Everyone had a lot of fun on Myspace at one point," Chris Vanderhook said. "It's easy to kick it and say, oh, yeah, Myspace sucks now, but everyone had fun on Myspace before. It's just that they didn't keep pace with technology and they didn't keep up with the times."

The site continues to help those bands (or filmmakers or writers) with analytics that measure fan response and other tools to help them grow.

And by focusing on artists initially, they're gambling fans will soon follow in large numbers.

"We think the creative class is about 38 million people in the United States and growing every single day," Tim Vanderhook said. "And by really servicing that group, we think reaching out to one level past that -- all of their fans and the creative consumers that like this type of entertainment -- we think are going to be critical to our success."

The deal to purchase Myspace drew plenty of attention -- partly for Timberlake's involvement and partly for what seemed the foolhardy nature of the venture. Even the Vanderhooks admit Myspace was on a downward spiral that should have ended in the site's demise. But they became infatuated with it in 2008 as they watched it fade and were convinced it could be rescued.

The revamped site debuts at a particularly competitive time, however, with Apple launching iRadio this week and other established brands like Google moving into the streaming field using the subscription model, the radio model or both.

The Vanderhooks don't start from scratch, however. They say the site still has 27 million users in the United States and about twice that worldwide. Those users will be switched to the new site Wednesday and the previous version will disappear.

"Keep playing up the crazy angle so when people actually do decide that we made a good decision, it will serve our ego even bigger," Chris Vanderhook said with a laugh. "To the average person out there they think you're totally nuts, but no, I don't think we're crazy, to be honest."

  • Viral StoriesMore>>

  • Spacewalking astronauts release baby satellite

    Spacewalking astronauts release baby satellite

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:40:07 GMT
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the 4-inch box off with his gloved right hand as the International Space Station sailed 260 miles above the cloud-flecked planet. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned. "One, two, three," someone called out in Russian as Artemiev let go of the sate...
    CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- Spacewalking astronauts launched a tiny Peruvian research satellite Monday, setting it loose on a mission to observe Earth. Russian Oleg Artemiev cast the 4-inch box off with his gloved right hand as the International Space Station sailed 260 miles above the cloud-flecked planet. The nanosatellite gently tumbled as it cleared the vicinity of the orbiting complex, precisely as planned. "One, two, three," someone called out in Russian as Artemiev let go of the sate...
  • New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    New marijuana drug 'Wax' looks and feels like lip balm

    Monday, August 18 2014 12:39 PM EDT2014-08-18 16:39:19 GMT
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
    It goes by the name Wax, Butter and Honeycomb on the streets, and it can pack a kick equal to 15 to 20 joints of marijuana. The new drug looks and feels like lip balm. It's made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC - the chemical that produces a high.
  • Pilot's artificial arm detached while landing

    Pilot's artificial arm detached while landing

    Thursday, August 14 2014 10:21 AM EDT2014-08-14 14:21:31 GMT
    LONDON (AP) -- A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached during landing. The report says the incident took place as the Flybe flight from Birmingham, carrying 47 passengers, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February. The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he performed a maneuver just be...
    LONDON (AP) -- A British air accident report has recounted how a pilot lost control of a passenger plane after his artificial arm became detached during landing. The report says the incident took place as the Flybe flight from Birmingham, carrying 47 passengers, was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions in February. The 46-year-old pilot had shortly before checked that his prosthetic lower left arm was securely attached to the yoke clamp, but as he performed a maneuver just be...
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices