Outdated social media sites are taking a beating this month. In addition to today’s news that Friendster will be shutting down, Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold’s charge against the slightly older “a/s/l” site MySpace seems to be gaining steam. Pecknold tweeted earlier this month that he wants someone to “mercy-kill” his band’s page. In a series of hilariously angry tweets, Pecknold complained that the site’s policy of allowing others to add a band to a show was hurting his act’s profile.
While seemingly a petty complaint (especially from a band as well-known as Fleet Foxes), Pecknold’s mini-rant does raise a serious issue with MySpace’s model. The ability of Joe Schmo to falsely add a band to any old show can lead to mass confusion and, in today’s era of instant reactions, the possibility of malice when it is announced that the band will not, in fact, be “opening for Take That.” As Spinner points out, bands have started gravitating to other sites that allow a mix of music and social networking without the hassles of Tom and co:
Alternatives have surfaced as of late, with Bandcamp and Soundcloud moving to the forefront of music/social networking sites, giving Pecknold a glimmer of hope outside the realms of MySpace.
Perhaps Pecknold is a quiet voice in a crowd of millions, but maybe the end of MySpace’s dominance over the music/social media industry is in sight. The site, after all, is losing visitors at an accelerating rate: According to TechCrunch, Myspace’s unique visitors are half of what they were even a year ago, down to 63 million as of February 2011. as of February 2011. And it’s not even the biggest name in streaming music anymore; YouTube is tops in that department. Indeed, this public show of ire by Pecknold–and the trends that are drawing people away from MySpace–might make acts more comfortable with hosting their official online outposts on Bandcamp, Facebook, or even their own sites.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 26, 2011