For any internet savvy young adult growing up in the period between 2005 and 2008 Myspace was almost inevitably a big part of life. A social beacon, the site optimised the rise of internet culture, the age of social media and, most relevantly, it transformed the way that music and artists were perceived forever. Thousands subscribed to the premise that, once uploaded, anyone in the world would be able to hear their music, and the sites D.I.Y infused ethic conveyed to a generation of musicians that getting yourself out into the world was easy if you were good enough. This was all well and good but, whether it was down to a change in the times, human natures natural eagerness to move on and seek sunnier pastures, or the over saturation of mediocre artists that eventually swamped the site, the company peaked and started to capitulate. Since it's steady decline from 2008 (When it was over-taken by facebook as social media's most visited website) Myspace has been through a multitude of redesigns, rebranding's and reworking's in an attempt to breathe life back into the internet's original social music platform, but nothing has captured the publics imagination. So in 2011 when the company was purchased in a joint venture by media group 'Specific' and pop sensation 'Justin Timberlake', a few eyebrows were raised and a handful of conversations surfaced but largely the world had moved on, and with enterprises such as twitter and other social platforms gaining momentum by the day, we never really looked like reminiscing.
Imagine then my shock as, at work today, one of my bosses sent me across a link for the new Myspace which revealed a sleek, interesting and novel social platform based almost entirely around a users musical choices and taste. The new version of the one-time internet giant now seems founded very much on the principal of discovery; there are a number of ways to connect with artists that you already enjoy, and then using features such as the new 'Radio', 'Discovery', or 'Search' options a user can really 'Put the feelers out' and actively find new sounds. This new version also offers an integrated media player, spelling an end to unnecessary pop up windows that were once essential to listen to tracks. In fact, the general aesthetic of the site is impeccable; unassuming black and white throughout with an engaging sideways scrolling menu... Mr Timberlake I take my hat off to you sir.
What's most interesting about this new platform though is that, in terms of artists, it is still relatively embryonic, so any that are currently included stand out somewhat. The effective launch came on Monday with the release of Timberlake's new single, but with subscribers growing daily and at least a good chance of a resurgence on its hands, Jazz artists need to get over to the new Myspace and discover the cause of my high praise; This could be the genres chance to start 2013 on an even keel with the rest of popular music and sit amongst the commercial elite as a new generation of music media takes shape. Don't get left behind jazz!