There is one constant when it comes to Digital Marketing: people are always looking for the “next big thing” while announcing the “end” of the last one. Lately, the digerati have been increasingly calling out “the end of MySpace” thanks to their latest restructuring and layoffs. And many are pointing to the visitor growth of Twitter and Facebook as rationale as well. But to paraphrase Mark Twain, I think:
“the reports of MySpace’s death are greatly exaggerated.”
This is a point I have been trying to make to many of my fellow marketers. After all, it easy to try to compare MySpace to Facebook…or even to Twitter. The media does it all the time. But fewer people take the time to look beyond the headlines to see what makes MySpace a unique property.
First and foremost, we are talking about a site that still delivers over a 50 reach with 18 – 24 year olds in the US. And there are still almost 3 times as many Teens on MySpace as there are on Facebook. If your brand cares about reaching youth, there are still few places as strong as MySpace to do just that.
Second, MySpace has emerged as an Entertainment Portal. While it started as a Social Networking site, that really isn’t what the site is about any longer. Today MySpace is about music, movies and other forms of Digital Content / Entertainment. I have a feeling that the new management is going to continue to play up this strength and we’ll see MySpace Music and MySpace Video play an even larger role in the digital entertainment landscape.
Finally, MySpace is a prime example of what Alan Wolk calls “NASCAR Blindness.” It is a condition that marketers and the media suffer from all the time. As the chart below from Mashable shows, MySpace might not be a dominant site on the coast, but it wins in the Heartland of America… just like NASCAR.
You can’t argue that growth on MySpace has stalled. But MySpace is still a dominant force in the digital marketing landscape. They are headed by a group of extremely talented managers. And most importantly, MySpace is still a force that marketers would be smart to keep an eye on instead of reporting its death.