Bob Baker's Indie Music Promotion Blog

Music marketing ideas for DIY artists, managers, promoters and music biz pros

December 15, 2005

The MySpace Value Debate

UPDATE: Since I made this post, I have published a new book called MySpace Music Marketing. Check out my new web site,, for details.

I recently announced the dipping of my toe into the social cluster [expletive deleted] that is MySpace. I started my page there on 12/3/2005. As of this writing, I have 434 friends and 692 profile views. Respectable numbers, I suppose, depending on what you compare them to.

The jury is still out on how effective it will ultimately be for me personally, but there is a debate brewing over how worthwhile the site can be for indie artists using it as a marketing tool.

Scott Andrew got the ball rolling with this post about a band that was a "featured artist" on MySpace. As a result, the act had its music played 20,000 times with 1,200 friend requests ... and zero CD sales. David Hooper and Joe Taylor Jr chimed in with their doubts about the value of MySpace.

I'll play it safe and not take sides at this point, but here's a comment from pop dance artist JANAJANA, who was apparently inspired to start her own MySpace page after reading my e-zine last week:

"Hi Bob. This was a great suggestion to join here! Since we joined last Tuesday, we have had over 1,100 plays, 1,500 new friends add us, and our CD sales are off the hook (had to get more ordered). The web server is maxed out and we can hardly keep up with it ... all in 7 days!"

I'm sure there are as many different opinions of MySpace as there are artists setting up shop there.

To be continued ...


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posted by Bob Baker @ 8:51 AM   7 comments


At Dec 15, 2005, 5:44:00 PM, Blogger Mark said...

What I want to know is how they got so much traffic and so many plays and friends so quickly! I've been working it pretty steadily and only have some 275 in my friends list. I must not be doing something right...


At Dec 16, 2005, 12:16:00 PM, Blogger scottandrew said...

I think if you look at JanaJana's MySpace page and compare it to the ones that Bob linked to a few posts back, you'll see a, um, common thread that may have something to do with it :)

And that's not to disparage any of the artists or their talents. But I think it says something about MySpace and the type of audience it attracts, what artist pages are more likely to get attention than others, and why.

At Dec 20, 2005, 4:47:00 PM, Blogger Linds said...

Frankly, the whole myspace operation amazes me. I'm 28 (the oldest myspace groupie for a lot of bands - so many young kids!!) and I only joined because I wanted to stay up to date with 1 band. Well, in 4 or so months, I'm now keeping up to date with nearly 200 bands. And mostly only bands. I'm always finding my favorite bands and add them. How else am I supposed to know when they are in town or releasing a CD? Sign up for 200 mailing lists? No way. This is 1 stop for it all.

Or...I get band requests all the time. If they sound ok in the first 15 seconds, I'll add them. If they suck, I decline. Then, chances are, I completely forget about them.

But, that's because they are not doing their jobs.

If bands do not send bulletins and try to be "friends" with their fans, then the myspace groupies will forget about them. I don't know at least 25% of the bands in my list anymore.

Personally, I think they best thing a band can do to be remembered is to offer 1 free download, their best song. Kids get this spinning in their iPods, and then want more. That's where the CD sales come in. And ticket sales to shows.

Myspace is excellent for bands to promote themselves, but if you are constantly working on it!

At Dec 25, 2005, 3:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anne Leighton said... is just one tool of many that you use to promote yourself or to promote your artists. All of my baby acts have myspace sites, just because it is like a club.

The thing is you still have to do real world marketing and--of course--the gigs!

My chick glam rock band, SUGAR ( uses the site as their website. You can put your music on and announce shows, and send bulletins out of tourdates, plus post a bio. They also like turning their shows into parties, and they claim to have the most friends of any Ohio band out there. Any contenders? talk to the chicks of Sugar.

Jann Klose hired Mi2n to do internet marketing for him for several months this past year while doing real world shows, of course. We used to help promo his digital EP, LIVE AT THE BITTER END. And that helped give folks a flavor for what he's about. But I emphasize that we've done both internet and real world marketing for Jann, and that's probably why his last tour netted a slim profit. I hope his next tour makes more money. He's at

I'm using just to have fun and blog some media analysis that just don't fit any mainstream publication. Outside of music and playwriting, I have a love affair with the media, and I like to write about it. I know I have very valid reflections on the media, but only once in awhile do I feel like I'm coming out with essays that fit the standard needs of real world media outlets about the media or current events. So I post the essays, and somehow people are finding them.

At Feb 5, 2006, 5:54:00 PM, Anonymous Future Funk Collective said...

As part a Collective, I have found myspace to be an amazing resource for connecting with other musicians who want to get involved and collaborate. I hear from experienced, accomplished and young, developing musicians. It has really helped to grow our community, which is what we're all about.

For our recent event, our CD release party, we received myspace bulletins from dozens of people about our own show! It makes me wonder how many people saw our name since the 'friends' of all of the senders got the same bulletin! Myspace has really worked for us.


At Feb 5, 2006, 6:05:00 PM, Anonymous Future Funk Collective said...

Of all places to forget to post the FFC website! *rolling my eyes*

At Jul 29, 2007, 7:16:00 PM, Blogger Kathryn Keats said...

Great information. I am amazed. I am going to test the market and offer a download for free...we shall see.
Thanks for the work!
Kathryn Keats


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