Can MySpace Rise Again?

Today brings the return of a familiar face to our computer screens. No, we’re not talking about Justin Timberlake, though he is a wise choice to play the role of public representative for the brand new MySpace.

This new video dropped on Twitter yesterday, and we have to say that we are somewhat impressed that MySpace has so obviously improved upon its famously awful interface!

Hmm…that was more of a tease than anything, but the new MySpace seems to combine elements of Facebook, Spotify and especially Pinterest (the visual layout is all but a carbon copy). This change is a wise move:

It would be counter-intuitive to compete directly with Facebook, and music has been one of the few things that made MySpace stand out in recent years—the ability to share mp3s and videos made it a natural home for up-and-coming bands, and we considered it one of the better places to actually listen to entire tracks by artists we hadn’t heard yet.

The new layout seems especially well-suited to DJs and tastemakers–in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Timberlake and his fellow investors described the revamped venture as “a social network for the creative community to connect to their fans.” They also claim that “they will be reaching out to artists of all levels, including for discovery purposes.” But are the Biebers of the future paying attention?

Other notes: the “Top Fan” feature vaguely resembles Google+ circles, but it’s more than that: It would allow the profiles of artists’ most dedicated fans to be featured on their own pages. We guess that’s kinda cool, though it might encourage even more digital stalking of celebrities.

The big question: Is the MySpace brand, which has become something of a punchline, too burdensome for this new model to succeed? The partners have set no release date for the general public, but interested parties can sign up for the inevitable email invite. PR pros: What do you think?

Final note: OT, but we still don’t understand why JT decided to dump music for acting–could it be less work and better pay? Stick with what you do best, man!