Wired writes how MySpace became the MTV for the Net generation.
MySpace [is] a community Web site that converts electronic word of mouth into the hottest marketing strategy since the advent of MTV. Massively popular, MySpace is nominally a social networking site like Friendster, but nearly 400,000 of the site’s roughly 30 million user pages belong to bands. The rest belong mostly to teens and twentysomethings who attend the groups’ shows, download their songs, read their blogs, send them fan mail, and enthusiastically spread the word.
By any measure, MySpace is one of the top sites on the Web. It racked up 9.4 billion pageviews in August – more than Google – and new users are signing up at a stunning rate of 3.5 million a month. But these aren’t the only numbers that drew the attention of Rupert Murdoch, chair and CEO of News Corp., which agreed to buy MySpace’s parent company in July for $580 million: The site hosts 12 percent of all ads on the Web, more than any other site. MySpace should gross $30 million to $40 million this year, says John Tinker, an analyst with ThinkEquity in New York. And with News Corp.’s sales force behind it, he estimates the company could double that figure in 2006.
To focus on corporate finances, though, is to miss a larger point. The real economic beneficiaries of MySpace are the ambitious young musicians in Pomona and around the country who are creating a new, life-size kind of stardom. Over the past couple years, MySpace and other community sites, like purevolume.com, have launched a number of acts: Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Relient K, and Silverstein, among others. Relient K, which plays earnest pop punk with an understated Christian message, has sold more than 500,000 albums in 12 months. My Chemical Romance’s last album sold more than 1 million copies.