Why MySpace Needs to Change Its Tune…and Fast

Let’s admit that many of us are curious, if not excited, to see what’s going to happen to the new MySpace.

America loves a comeback story, and now that MySpace’s arch nemesis Facebook has somewhat fallen out of favor with the public by instituting cryptic security settings, encouraging spammers, tinkering with its timeline format and overestimating its stock value, MySpace just may be able to thrive by positioning itself as a digital space for musicians and music lovers.

Enlisting Justin Timberlake, of course, is a strong way to begin a rebranding project. Unsigned artists make up the majority of the revamped MySpace’s membership, and what struggling musician wouldn’t want to have some level of connection—regardless of how remote and digital—with an artist of JT’s cache? He is the perfect celebrity/actor/musician to bridge the established and the new. The public likes Justin Timblerlake. He did that thing with the box.

Yet, in its effort to attract the most impressive new talent, MySpace is also tempting fate by angering established talent–or at least Merlin, a digital rights management group that represents established talents ranging from Arcade Fire, Bon Iver, and DJ Khaled to She and Him and Wilco.

The problem with MySpace is that it features the ability to create an account as a person or band and then upload the original music of that person or band for others to discover. However, MySpace currently does not offer technology sophisticated enough to say, prevent Bob Nemlin in Idaho from creating an account claiming to be Bon Iver. See the problem? Welcome to the 1990s. It’s free music all over again.

Time hasn’t been kind to MySpace, so we have to say that this sort of “history repeating itself” incident does not bode well.

See, we’ve all heard this song before. It’s called Napster–and we know how it ends.

One last question: do we capitalize the S or not?