Justin Timberlake Buys Myspace With Specific Media

Justin Timberlake has teamed up with Californian digital agency Specific Media to purchase music social network Myspace for $35m, just 6% of the $580m News Corp paid for the service in 2004.

This morning, Music Week confirmed the story and quoted Timberlake as saying:

[He] wanted to take an active role in the development of the site as a place “where fans can go to interact with their favourite entertainers”

Specific Media’s chief exec Tim Vanderhook said of the purchase:

“Myspace is a recognized leader that has pioneered the social media space. The company has transformed the ways in which audiences discover, consume and engage with content online”

The acquisition will also see a reduction in staff, according to outgoing CEO Mike Jones:

“In conjunction with the deal, we are conducting a series of restructuring initiatives, including a significant reduction in our workforce. I will assist Specific with the transition over the next two months before departing my role as Myspace CEO.”

This appears to be a vanity purchase, with little obvious direction indicated for the future of the platform. The once golden child of the social media revolution is now a lumbering overweight player in the music sharing scene, surpassed by hundreds of new alternatives.

As an artist, when it comes to sharing music there are other options for attracting and engaging with your audience, Myspace just doesn’t cut it any more.

What JT and his cohorts will do with Myspace remains to be seen, but I cannot help but think this may be the final nail in the already lead heavy coffin of the once pioneering and career making platform.

Flaming Lips iPhone Symphony

The Flaming Lips have used their iPhones to create a symphonic sound-based cacophony of genius proportions.

Wired says:

Released on Valentine’s Day, the audio tracks that make up “Two Blobs Fucking” are spread across a dozen different YouTube videos. Each of the 220-second clips must be played in sync to create the complete tune

See the how to do it video here:

As usual, The Flaming ips have tried to give their fans a unique experience, innovating with sound, aurality and, importantly, humour. It’s their constant desire to do something different that makes me excited to see what they come up with next.

A Couple of Recent Guest Posts

I’ve been lucky enough to write for Zath, a technology blog, and Two Footed Tackle on the plight of Leyton Orient over the past few weeks, so I just wanted to share both posts with you!

Leyton Orient’s Olympic Stadium worries are about more than just football

Mflow Review (Update) – New HTML5 Interface & Recommendation Credit System

Guest posts are always a good challenge, so I must extend my thanks to Simon and Gary for letting me contribute!

Major Labels Step Into The 21st Century

Last week it was announced that major record labels Sony and Universal, along with a bunch of indies, would permit the instant purchase of a single as soon as it had airplay, a method call On air/On sale.

On air/On sale is the result of piracy, changing consumer habits and a realisation that the industry needs to begin challenging and meeting both in a constructive and innovative manner.

A Sony survey revealed that 41.9% of music purchasers find it ‘quite annoying’ when they try to find a song they’ve heard on the radio, only to realise it isn’t available. *data from Music Week

A recent report called ‘Into The Future’ by the Future Business Research Group has revealed that 11% of the music buying population can be classed as ‘music obsessives’ who switch between licensed and unlicensed distribution services, but make up 31% of the total spend on music. *data from Music Week

It is this group that have been the catalyst for such change to occur.

It means that the artist will now be able to explore different marketing creatives to engage with their fans, fans get the music they want, when they want it and it may even encourage more people to purchase music, rather than downloading it illegally.

The next big challenge will be to finalise a distribution model that works for everybody, a task that could be a lot harder than it initially sounds given the vast array of deals already in existence.

For decades the model of ‘play the song on the radio for a month to build interest, then release it’ has dominated the music industry’s approach, treating fans as eager little mice waiting for their next meal. No longer.

20 New Music Blogs You Should’ve Heard Of

Music blogs are everywhere, here’s 20 I recommend you check out!

My Chemical Toilet
We Are Hunted
The Blue Walrus
The Pop Cop
Sweeping The Nation
The Daily Growl
A New Band A Day
Another Form of Relief
Fucking Dance
God Is In The TV Zine
Winston’s Zen
Illegal Tender
Muso’s Guide
I Really Love Music
Faded Glamour
Buzzin Music
Highway Five
There Goes The Fear
And Everyone’s A DJ
Shattered Satellite

Where do you go to get your music?

Get Into The Music Industry In Camden

Camden’s Music Month continues apace tomorrow with a special session dedicated to helping aspiring musicians break into the industry.

Between 4pm and 6:30pm at the Council Chamber on Wednesday…

The event aims to provide access for those interested in working in the business to meet industry professionals. There will be speeches and Q&A sessions from a range of those in the know, including Andy Ross from OK Go and Serious Business Records, Lisa Paulon from Camden Crawl, Paul Kirkham from the Institute of Contemporary Music and Robert Rosenberg of The Who, Trinifold Management.

Attendees can also book a twenty minute one to one mentorship session with Rich Smith of Sony Music, Underwater, Platipus and Neo Records. Please note this opportunity is only open to those who live or work within the borough.

Click here to book your place.

I think this is a great initiative from Camden Council and it’s great to see so many figures from the industry prepared to get involved and share their knowledge and insights.

Inside The Mind of a Music Blogger

Blogging about something you call a passion has pitfalls as well as positives. On the plus side, it means you get to write about something you really dig, understand and want to learn more about. On the downside, it can mean you become so entrenched in topic it feels like you are wading through treacle.

I have a lot of time and respect for people who pour hours into creating, maintaining and managing music blogs. I’ve been lucky enough to write for some exceptionally talented people who love what they do and want others to be a part of it.

There are, to me, three types of music blogger:

Passionistas – they do it for themselves, and if they’re lucky enough that somebody should read their stuff it’s a bonus

Enthusiasts – they love music, want to be read and find themselves contributing to several different blogs and websites (I’d consider myself among this group incidentally)

Careerists – the music is good, but it’s just a stepping stone to that all important first journalistic job

Whatever category you loosely fit into, the one thing you need as a music blogger, is time.

It is, except in very rare circumstances, a position where you listen to as much music and go to as many gigs as possible, fitting the activity around your other priorities – work, family, friends etc

This means that as much forward planning as can be concocted is vital if you are to make as much of the opportunity afforded to you by plucky PRs (and editors) as you can.

Editors, by and large, stick with this. They know what it takes to fit in the music around lifestyle as they’ve already been there and done it.

The PR, with a review opportunity doesn’t necessarily take the aforementioned factors into account. A review expected two days before a single release, is not in most cases feasible. A last minute attempt to entice you to a gig which kicks off in three hours is folly.

As a music blogger I want time, patience and an acceptance that I’m not at the beck and call of a PR just because the artist they reckon is going to be ‘the next big thing’ hasn’t managed to attract the likes of the NME or Mojo. It smacks of desperation.

I want my editor to give me two weeks advance notice as a minimum so I can plan to fit the gig/review into my routine or existing plans. I want to like the music i’m going to hear (if I don’t already) and an antagonistic approach will not help this to happen.

The formula for keeping music bloggers is simple: time + space = a fair review

I’d love to know what other music bloggers think: if i’ve missed the point, i’m on the money or somewhere in between, let me know!