In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Justin Timberlake and Chris and Tim Vanderhook talked about the revamped MySpace, which Tim Vanderhook referred to as “a social network for the creative community to connect to their fans.”
The new look was unveiled at an event for company employees on Monday, along with a promo video that offers a look at MySpace’s sleek new design and focus. The site, however, is still in beta testing, and Vanderhook noted that it’s still unclear when people outside the industry will get access.
Timberlake, who holds an ownership stake in the company, will promote the new MySpace himself and is looking for fellow musicians to join, too. “I know some artists,” he joked during the presentation, though he didn’t reveal any names just yet. “I want them to feel a sense of comfortable anonymity to that,” Timberlake said of artists helping with the beta test.
Timberlake also said that he hoped the new MySpace would make it easier for musicians who use social media out of necessity, rather than choice, to engage with fans.
“But with every obstacle comes an opportunity and I see this, as it speaks to somebody like me, as bridging the gap,” said Timberlake. “It’s just bringing the connection that much closer while still making the artist feel comfortable that they can make their art, lock themselves in a room and torture themselves as they do, and still find a way to comfortably connect with their fan base.”
While it seems likely that other big-name musicians will jump on board, Chris Vanderhook said the site will focus on artists at all level, including those with lower profiles: “We want the right people who want to use the platform, who want to find other creators, as well, and want to be able to actually collaborate and really foster a community of creators,” he said. “So it’s not about just the established, it’s also about the unsigned.”
To link the known with the unknown, the new site will give fans a chance to be profiled on the pages of their favorite artists. Added Tim Vanderhook: “There’s a whole section of real estate carved out on the artist profiles promoting their top fans, and if I’m a fan of Justin, we know how excited people will get to actually have their face listed as a top fan.”
As the new MySpace continues to move forward, Tim Vanderhook said that they’re looking forward to having new artists help them complete the site: “We’re really far along,” he said, “but we really want that last 20 percent to really be crafted by more people like Justin that actually know the tools and things that they need.”