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. 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: “Neda 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, “they were likely uploaded by users” and would be removed if requested by the label.”
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.