As we reported last week, the grandpappy of social networks has reinvented itself (again) with a renewed focus on music. Strutting back on the scene with a cross promoted Justin Timberlake single in tow, the New Myspace is being marketed as the go-to destination for music fans online. With over 50 million songs available to stream and a slick new interface, it certainly looks the part. (It makes Spotify’s 20 million tracks seem positively sparse).
But it appears that the oft-derided social network just can’t catch a break. Â As The New York Times reports, despite an artist-friendly veneer, the New Myspace has already fallen from favour with some record labels. The Merlin group, which represents a number of independent labels – among them hipster favourite Merge – has complained that despite allowing its arrangement with Merlin to lapse over a year ago, the New Myspace continues to host tracks from its artists.
The response from the New Myspace? According to the NYTimes: â€œNeda Azarfar, a spokeswoman for Myspace, said the company had decided not to renew its contract with Merlin, and that if songs from its member labels were still on the site, â€œthey were likely uploaded by usersâ€ and would be removed if requested by the label.â€
Doesn’t seem very proactive, does it? That said, our own dig around the New Myspace quickly turned up a number of tracks from the relatively lesser known Merge acts like The Mountain Goats and Neutral Milk Hotel. But songs from higher-profile label-mates The Arcade Fire were noticeable in their absence. So evidently someone is invested in keeping the New Myspace above board.