While working on Monday’s research I came across a couple interesting noteworthy items. One was that the “comments” section toward to the bottom of each band page was absolutely filled with struggling band plugs/ads. I want to know how common this is. If it is quite common then it further points to the irrelevance of Myspace. The comments section should be used for kudos and fan/band interaction, not constant band ads that no one wants to read. Here is an example of a random band plug:
Purchase the CD DAREALLA in stores now!! Including Drop Hits, I Know Now & More. Preview by clicking on the following link. http://bigpondmusic.com/album/sledgy/darealla ; NOW ON TOUR IN THE MO – KS AREA… Register and get your tickets @ go.to/nosas http://www.notonlystreet.com/not-only-street-artist-showcase.html ; http://youtu.be/30Jpk4q6z0Q ; http://itunes.apple.com/album/gemini-ii/id556236779?l=ja&v0=9988&ign-mpt=uo%3D1
This is not what Myspace was created to be used for, correct? Perhaps it is. Another thing I noticed while perusing was the songs available for free listening are extremely old. The National, for instance, should not be promoting songs off “Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers,” their 2003 release. This is another problem, and could be further proof that Myspace likely needs to shut down operations. I have no quarrel with Myspace but it is a dying company, regardless of a “comeback.”
I will be focusing my research on the bands that have actually logged-in since February 1st. These bands will be Grouplove, The National, Animal Kingdom, and Beach House. I disregarded Cold War Kids today because they have not accessed their account since well before their April 2nd release of “Dear Miss Lonelyhearts.”
We will start with Grouplove whose last login was yesterday, believe it or not. Previously, their last login was in late March, so they seem to make an appearance every 10 days or so. Of the 20 comments displayed on their page, 11 were actually good personal comments aimed at the band itself. Five were band plugs, as I touched on earlier. The other four were odd, sort of creepy, personal ads that more or less sounded like “contact me for a good time” material. Overall I was somewhat surprised, I didn’t expect 55% of the comments to be genuine comments. Still, 45% were ads and band plugs. Compared to, say, Facebook, it’s a hefty percentage.
Their songs are a combination of old and new. Three songs are from their latest album, “Never Trust A Happy Song,” while the other two are from their self-titled debut EP. Two of the songs that are on the new album, released in 2011, are also on the EP though. They don’t have a lot of material to pick from, so their available songs could be worse. It should be stated that it’s a sin to not have “Itchin’ On A Photograph” available, because it is their most well-known work. At least “Tongue Tied” is streaming.
The National is a much different story on both levels. Their comment section is packed full of band plugs, personal ads, and stuff that sounds like a invitation to something dirty. 13 of the 20 comments were band plugs, that’s 65%–ouch. The band itself has the ability to block or delete comments, so it proves that they likely do not look at their incoming comments. Or they just don’t care and want junk bands to get their voice heard. Three of the comments appeared to be actual commentary, which is an abysmal 15%. The other four were odd personal ads that have a tendency to give me the creeps.
Their available tracks are all pre-2005 as they have songs available from “Cherry Tree” (2004), “Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers” (2003), and “The National” (2001). This is insane. They have an upcoming album due in May, and two widely beloved albums in “The Boxer” and “High Violet” which should be available. One would think. Despite their last login being two days ago they do not seem to be making changes to their page.
Animal Kingdom is a lesser-known band in comparison to the two bands above, but they have logged-in this year (February 13th). Their page seems to have a little more work done on it, like Grouplove, suggesting some activity. Their comment activity is about what you would expect. Nine of the 20 comments are real comments, or at least appear to be, while 11 are band plugs and personal ads. 45% is a decent number, I suppose, but this comment research is certainly proving that Myspace is inadequate for known indie bands.
Their song choices are obviously older with four of the tracks from their 2009 debut album, “Signs and Wonders.” They at least have “Strange Attractor” available for visitors, as well as “Alone Together.” It’s becoming clear that bands simply do not update their track-listing on Myspace.
Beach House‘s last login was on February 20th, but they have a perfect 20/20 for genuine comments. There is not a single band plug or personal ad; they all seem to be the real deal. The problem, however, is that the majority of the comments date back to two years ago. Yikes. Again, further proof against Myspace usage. They are likely not approving comments because a) there aren’t any, or b) they aren’t approving comments. I’m guessing a combination of both.
Believe it or not they actually have the majority of their last two albums, “Bloom” and “Teen Dream,” available to stream. This is progress. They also have a decent page layout despite not being overly active on Myspace. With the likes of Spotify and the lesser-effective Pandora now existent all songs should be available to hear on their page. Beach House seems to have gotten the memo.
Today went well. I have a good grasp on how Myspace is being used by indie artists–rarely. With articles and word-of-mouth telling us that Myspace is in the midst of a comeback I thought it would be useful to check out the space for a week. This has proven to be difficult but rewarding. By simply exploring the space I have noticed tell-tale signs of inactivity, misuse, and computer freezing issues. Today was no different. We learned that bands are receiving hardly any feedback from fans, and that 43% of the comments are ads and band promotions. When you compare this to most social media outlets it’s pretty embarrassing, but hasn’t that always been an issue with Myspace?
I remember a time when I was a freshman in college and I used to always come to Myspace when I wanted to hear a new song or preview a new album. This has practically disappeared. The National has made three albums since the tracks they are “promoting” were released. It’s comical. But, we will press on. Regardless of what this research is clearly showing I will find some worth on this site. The “new Myspace” is in high gear right now, and it includes a brand new look. Friday I plan on investigating this “new Myspace” and finding some items worth noting. There has to be something worthwhile for indie bands. See you then.