Some background: By a stroke of dumb luck five or six years ago, Myspace realized that musicians needed somewhere to post tracks and updates about their projects. It wasn't the best-looking or best-functioning site -- half the time, the music player wouldn't even bother to load. But so many people were using it at the time that MySpace was the easiest path to exposure for most bands. Nowadays, that's all changed.
How? Well it's simple: Myspace waited until it was too late to try and
improve the site. When improvements came, the redesign was so ill-conceived that
it only further alienated users. For
years, Myspace let artists have free reign over the design of their pages,
which resulted in poor layouts that were slow to load and
swarmed the senses with flashing images and bright colors. The only
consistent element of artists' pages was the poorly functioning music player.
With the new design, Myspace took some aesthetic control away from users and attempted to unify the design of individual pages. But that's brought new problems: the location of information like artists' friends and tour dates differs significantly from page to page. Pages with custom backgrounds are glitchy, ads are everywhere,
and now the site is slower to load than ever before.
With the juggernaut that is Twitter, and the increasingly ubiquitous
Facebook more publicly accessible than ever, music fans no longer need Myspace to connect with their favorite artists.
As a result, smaller, but better, music sites have been winning out over the last year. Instead of linking to their Myspace page on Twitter or Facebook, musicians are sending fans to Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Mixcloud pages. These sites are faster, easier to use, and better designed than Myspace ever was. And all of these sites allow you to embed favorite tracks, mixtapes, or entire albums on your blog or Facebook page with minimum fuss.
Now that I've gotten used to artists posting links to these sites on various social media outlets, I -- and many other music fans, apparently -- am going anywhere but Myspace to find new music. The site was once the leader for streaming new stuff, but that time has passed. All that's left of Myspace now is a steaming pile of suck.