Visitors to the myspace.com homepage at any one time can be expected to be introduced to “cool new people” under aliases such as Flake88 and ShawnBrown4eva, encouraged to listen to a garage-funk duo from Oklahoma or be invited to a Battle of the Bands contest in New Jersey.
But Myspace.com can no longer be considered a mere bookmark in the browser of teenagers worldwide following News Corporation’s acquisition of the networking site’s parent company Intermix for half a billion dollars.
In April, News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch told the American Society of Newspaper Editors: “I believe too many of us editors and reporters are out of touch with our readers” in a speech that also outlined the need to find new ways to reach out to American citizens.
Such sentiments paved the way for the Intermix bid – the Myspace site currently has over 20 million registered members and is virtually a household name, without paying for any advertising since its introduction in 2003.
The online community site’s success can be attributed to its broad appeal.
However, the ability to instantly connect with thousands worldwide has not been fully embraced by all.
Musicians from all over the world are among the earliest to realise Myspace’s global potential.
News Corp’s new addition to an already wide-ranging portfolio is the clearest sign yet that the media industry sees the future in so-called new media – whether it be through broadband internet, mobile phones and other digital-age enterprises that threaten the future of traditional routes of television, print journalism and radio.