One reason for the phenomenal growth of MySpace has been its roots in the LA music and clubbing scene. By encouraging bands to have profiles, it has in effect acted as an eBay for music by matching new bands with fans seeking new music.
Now that MySpace has gained such a massive user base, can any up-and-coming band afford not to be there? Indeed, do they need to have their own Web site at all if MySpace is where the audience has been aggregated and a band's MySpace profile offers so much community functionality?
See a couple of examples from street posters and fliers here in central London.
NoblesseOblige.co.uk is a basic brochureware site - info, news, releases etc - and the contact link points to, yes, their MySpace profile. Toxic Crew are only on Myspace. (Top tip for Betty Curse, MySpace.co.uk doesn't go to MySpace, it goes somewhere else.)
Of course, there are still alternatives to MySpace, such as other social networking communities (particularly Bebo) and dedicated music sites, but for now a major market of older teens and young adults has settled with News Corp. So what will happen to music marketing when all new bands have to be there and their profiles are functionally identical? Does online marketing just come down to attracting users to the profile and working with MySpace to get the band on their music home page? And how much power does that give to News Corp in the music industry as a whole?
Fox Interactive President Ross Levinsohn (who recommended to Murdoch that News Corp should buy MySpace): "You’ll see us morphing from a content company into a marketing company, a youth marketing company especially, because that’s where everything starts." (Source: His Space article in Wired.)
Of course, it's all much easier if the bands are doing some of the morphing for you...
For more on guerrilla marketing via MySpace, see James Cooper's graffiti experiment and also his post on Lily Allen's posters promoting a mobile mailing list.
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