Timberlake says MySpace’s evolution to be televised

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Specific Media CEO Tim Vanderhook and Myspace coowner Justin Timberlake announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday to launch MySpace TV, a new social method of television viewing that the two hope will feed new life into the long-dismissed music discovery site.

Details concerning Vanderhook and Timberlake’s ultimate plan with MySpace TV are still unclear. (There isn’t even an announced revenue model.)

But the company plans to initially set forth with channels devoted to music, an entity that MySpace owns in abundance: the site holds rights to 100,000 music videos and 42 million published songs.

From there, expect MySpace, like YouTube, to incorporate television broadcast bundles like Viacom and Disney, eventually accumulating enough content to offer movies, news, sports, and reality channels. The goal is instead of sharing a living room to watch the Lakers-Heat game with your buddy, you’re sharing cloud space.

Timberlake’s press statement details some sort of couch potato utopia for friends in distant places:

Why text or email your friends to talk about your favorite programs after they’ve aired when you could be sharing the experience with real-time interactivity from anywhere across the globe? As the plot of your favorite drama unfolds, the joke of your favorite SNL character plays, or even the last second shot of your favorite team swishes the net, we’re giving you the opportunity to connect your friends to your moments as they’re actually occurring. This is the evolution of one of our greatest inventions, the television.  And, we no longer have to crowd around the same one to experience it together.

MySpace has been an oasis of content since its launch in 2003, and its influence as a music discovery tool cannot go unnoticed. But the knock on MySpace of late has been that it can’t make itself a pretty face.

Even after sites like Bandcamp and Facebook have shown the template for clean, user-friendly interfaces focused on rich content —not the bevy of browser-slowing GIFs and flash ads that have so mired Myspace over the past few years—MySpace’s interface has remained either annoyingly jumbled or remarkably dull.

If MySpace TV offers anything close to what’s now the company’s norm, this is one revolution that won’t be televised.

Photo by KyleBurning

Chase Hoffberger

Chase Hoffberger

Chase Hoffberger reported on YouTube, web culture, and crime for the Daily Dot until 2013, when he joined the Austin Chronicle. Until late 2018, he served as that paper’s news editor and reported on criminal justice and politics.