March 20, 2019
Myspace, which introduced Internet users to social networking, faded from view with the advent of Facebook. Still, Myspace endured as a popular music platform, in part because it drew credibility from having helped launch artists such as Arctic Monkeys, Panic! At The Disco, Sean Kingston and Kate Nash. Musicians and other Myspace users were dismayed to read a banner on the site proclaiming that, due to a server migration, files loaded more than three years ago will “no longer be available on or from Myspace.”
Engadget reports that, “some estimate nearly 50 million songs from 2003 to 2015 have been lost.” Myspace users on Reddit reported that “all pre-2015 music stopped working about a year ago,” but Myspace initially said it would correct the issue. Besides the banner (which has since been removed), Myspace did not issue additional details, but did provide the email address of its data protection officer (DPO@myspace.com), “for anyone seeking more information.”
Myspace has endured other mishaps. When Time Inc. bought Myspace in 2016, it confirmed the site had been hacked. In 2017, users found that anyone could access their accounts via their birth dates. In 2012, Myspace “battled Apple over its Apple Music app icon.”
Variety reports that Myspace, which is now owned by Meredith, apologized for the loss of photos, videos and audio files, and suggested that users “retain your backup copies.” But looking through “threads discussing the data loss,” says the Variety reporter, it’s clear that many did lose files.
In March 2018, after telling users the problem was temporary but had no time frame for a fix, Myspace stated it was in the midst of maintenance and, “during this process, there may be possible downtime.” The company also said that FLV-formatted videos “can no longer be played due to an [HTML5] update to the player.” “Unfortunately, we do not offer a way to play or download these videos,” it stated.
The event is a reminder, says Variety, that “even Facebook and other platforms that seem likely to go a longer distance than Myspace are not the Library of Congress.” Variety, which has reached out to Myspace for comment, reports that the company hasn’t been much in the public eye since “a much-ballyhooed, celebrity-fueled relaunch in 2013, which followed a purchase by Justin Timberlake and other partners in 2011.” In May 2018, Meredith was reported to be exploring a sale of Viant Technology, Myspace’s parent company.