Myspace has announced that it will cut almost a third of its staff to compete with competition from Facebook and Twitter.
There is more on this on the beeb site if you need all the gory details.
The cuts total about 400 staff, leaving 1,000 people at the struggling unit of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.
MySpace said it wanted to return to the culture of a start-up company. – BBC
Owen Van Natta was appointed Chief Excutive just two months ago, and seems to be taking a slash and burn approach to the business model. He feels that “…staffing levels were bloated and hindered our ability to be an efficient and nimble team-oriented company…” and his aim was to “return to an environment of innovation.”
This all sounds pretty mush like management speak in any industry.
The underlying problem here is not too many people on the floor. It rarely is.
Myspace have lost their way in the face of newer, shinier toys like facebook, as they have decided that they are competitors to this type of social network.
I would suggest that thay’re not. Their core strength is that is is a site with masses of music content, and they could find ways to rebrand it as such and return to a core value. They have global music copyright issues such as the YouTube UK ban on music videos playing directly into their hand, and seem to be powerless with these opportunities.
Perhaps a more appropriate culling would be amongst the community itself, to remove the people just looking for a social profile page, and return to a space for musicians to showcase their work. I’m sure that’s controversial, as we’re all talented, etc, but we must acknowledge that some animals are equaller than others (props Orwell) in this regard.
Furthermore, myspace is powered by one of the clunkiest, most bandwidth intensive sites still around, where there is no uniformity to design or format considerations. Facebook has excelled here with its sleek, uniform design, where simplicity comes first. The autoplay function on most pages should be disabled. The entire myspace engine needs an overhaul.
Having said all that, myspace Tom (friend to the friendless) and co are sitting on a content gold mine that they don’t seem to deem of value, simply because they’re too interested in what everybody else is doing.
Knuckle down myspace people, worry about what what your site is not doing and what it could do better, and realise that you’re in the unsigned music publishing and distribution business.