At the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta announced a number of new MySpace Music products. One of the most significant products is MySpace Music Videos which not only brings back music videos but also ironically heavily resembles the design styling of the MTV website. While the Financial Times may be convinced by Owen Van Natta’s statement that “Facebook is not our competition”, we aren’t.
MySpace is still focused on supporting and expanding the developer platform as well as performing a greater push for MySpace ID, both of which are direct competition to Facebook. Embracing the company’s primary strength, music, is not a bad idea though, especially if Van Natta is going to create the image that instantaneous change is taking place at the rapidly declining social network.
This evening MySpace announced a number of new products to further emphasize this renewed focus on music with the launch of an Artist Dashboard and Music Videos. The company is also integrating with iTunes to enable users to purchase songs directly after listening to them. There are significant upgrades and while we aren’t sure what’s next, we’d hope to see a further embrace of music.
By launching music blogs and generating a community around the company’s massive music library would create a lot of value. Additionally, acquiring a service like Blip.fm, or building one in house to let users share the music they’re listening to would make a lot of sense. MTV used music to launch a youth destination site revolving around culture.
If MySpace were to become the user-powered MTV, I think they’d have a shot at turning the business around. However if the company continues to focus on becoming an identity provider and the center of users’ online identity, we’ll have the luxury of watching the ship sink. Tonight’s announcements are a beacon in a sea of negative chatter. We’re hoping that the company stays the course and tosses all the excess for the sharks to pick at.