MySpace has a new music player and a new approach – and a whole bunch of new listeners, according to news this week. Since launching its new music player and adding facebook integration, the service has picked up more than a million new registered listeners.
Once the most visited social and music site, MySpace lost ground under News Corp ownership and in 2009 facebook took over as the most popular social network. Losses in revenue, traffic and layoffs continued and in June 2011 MySpace was sold to Specific Media and Justin Timberlake for $35 million. News Corp had paid $580 million in 2005.
The new MySpace music player reveals a new approach for the once behemoth streaming service. Front and center is a “leanback” radio service that features the largest online catalogue of free music in the world with 42 million songs. Unlimited, on-demand listening, music recommendations and facebook integration are the other touted features. The personalized radio mode is very similar to the iHeartRadio experience where a listener can choose an artist and create a channel of similar sounding music from that selection. The service also offers more than 20 programmed channels in different genres.
The service is an interesting hybrid between Spotify, iHeartRadio and Pandora. Listeners can select specific artists and songs to hear, listen to a channel of similar songs, or tune in to a genre channel. There’s no way to like or dislike a certain song like Pandora offers, but then again, you can’t start with a specific song request on Pandora.
MySpace claims, with the new million listeners, to have 25 million registered users. Whether they can regain the interest of all those users remains to be seen, but a free service with this much flexibility and potential reach sure looks like it will have some impact…