MySpace Music Friends; To Add or Not to Add

MySpace Music is one of the hottest “buzzwords” in the industry today. And it brings up the question of why add MySpace bands as friends on your own personal Space. The most common criticism is “Those people aren’t really your friends; why do you say they are?”

There are a few very good reasons for adding your favorite bands as MySpace friends, some serve the bands and some serve the fans:

News/Announcements/Secrets

A lot of bands use the bulletin boards as a promotional tool, some more than others. They post bulletins regarding changes in their tour schedules, including added, extra shows, “secret” or private shows, or, in unfortunate cases, cancellations, as well as television or radio appearances that they are making in the near future.

They also post announcements regarding special achievements; two of the bands I have as “friends” were nominated for MTV Video Music Awards and used the bulletins to announce their nominations and tell fans where and how to vote, since the VMA’s are chosen by the public. And since bulletins can only be viewed by the poster’s friends, having bands on your friends’ space gives you an “in” to this special information.

Exposure

As of press time, there are over 100 million MySpace users (that number increases daily); that is 100 million potential fans for each and every MySpace Music band. A great deal of Top 40, “major label” musical artists have pages on MySpace Music but the vast majority is not signed to a major label, if they are signed at all. Adding bands as “friends” gets your other friends to listen to them and possibly, if they enjoy what they hear, add them to their own friends’ space, where their friends will find them, thus creating a cycle of exposure. My personal friends’ space is split about half and half between my “real” friends and my music friends and a lot of my “real” friends, every couple of weeks or so, surf through my friends’ space and check out one of the bands they may not have heard before. This is proof to me that having them on there is doing something good for them.

Networking

Bands also use their friends’ space to network. On one side of the equation, Band X who has been compared by fans to Band Z may check out Band Z’s friends and send friend requests to some of the people they find there with a note saying “We found you on Band Z’s friends’ space and some of our fans have compared our sound to theirs. We’d be grateful if you’d give us a listen and add us if you like what you hear.”

On the other side, if the members of Band X and Band Z are friends and Band X is just getting started and is working on creating a fan base, Band Z may use the bulletin boards to promote their friends in Band X, directing potential fans to their page, to their “official” website, to shows that Band X may be performing at, and so much more. In many cases, if someone’s favorite band endorses another band, that someone is going to, at the very least, give the new band a listen, and even if they don’t end up a fan, Band X has reached one more person who they wouldn’t have reached without the aid of MySpace and MySpace friends.

The MySpace Music revolution is a great way for bands to find fans and for fans to find bands. I, personally, joined MySpace to connect with friends; I stayed for the music.

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