Musician Sites

ARTICLES: Why do we need a band website when we’ve got MySpace?

The currently most popular online social networking website, MySpace, has been a revolution for bands and musicians since it came online in 2003. Due to it being free, easy to use and providing some key features (especially a way to put music tracks online) it has seen massive adoption rates and by musical groups and now hosts over 3 million bands and artists. In fact it is now a standard expectation for every performing artist to have a MySpace profile. MySpace, which is now owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, does indeed offer a great opportunity for promoting a musical act and some major names, such as Artic Monkeys and My Chemical Romance among others, have successfully used MySpace to help launch themselves into the big league. It has a huge number of visitors that are actively looking for new music and through its ‘friend’ networking system you can actively reach out to potential fans and get your profile, and hence your music, noticed. Due to the ease of updating and adding content, and the fact that the only cost is your own time and effort, many artists are now relying solely on MySpace for their online presence. But it’s important to realise that it is preferable for an artist to have a dedicated website as their primary online presence and to use their MySpace profile as a supplemental marketing tool. Here are a few good reasons why a band should have their own website:

more professional image, shows you are serious – Most artists that do not have their own website and rely on MySpace or similar service for their sole web presence are usually very minor artists that are just starting out. If you have your own dedicated website it shows to both your potential fans and music industry scouts that you are taking a more professional approach to your music career.

establish your own identity – Although you can customise MySpace to a certain extent, the prime branding and identity associated with a MySpace page is that of MySpace itself. Although you can customise the look of you page you are limited to the ‘cookie-cutter’ format that MySpace provides you with. Most bands will want to have a uniquely designed website to reflect the unique nature of their music.

you are in full control – When using MySpace or similar service you are adding your content to a big corporation’s website and they are the ones calling the shots. You can never be sure how your content will be displayed or used in the future. In fact until recently the fine print in the MySpace user agreement read “You hereby grant to a non-exclusive, fully-paid and royalty-free, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense through unlimited levels of sublicensees) to use, copy, modify, adapt, translate, publicly perform, publicly display, store, reproduce, transmit, and distribute such Content on and through the Services” (MySpace did revise this clause after Billy Brag brought it to public attention in 2006 and caused a bit of a stir). Having your own website puts you in full control of your content. Also, it is more reliable for the long term since your own site will be around for as long as you want whereas there are no guarantees with sites owned by another party.

you can sell your music from your own website – Although it is possible to sell your music in MP3 format on MySpace you are limited to the one channel that MySpace provides and to its terms and conditions including hefty commissions. If you have your own website you can sell your digital music and/or physical CDs and other merchandise by any method you choose including providing an integration with some other online retailer of your own choosing. You control how and what you sell.

low cost, high value – The initial expense of putting up a website might be off-putting to some artists that are not exactly flush with funds. However the cost of putting up a website may actually be much lower than you might have imagined, especially if you use a low cost service provider like, and the resulting value of having a website makes it a really small investment that pays off big time.

command a fuller attention – when someone visits your MySpace page they come with very divided attention, after all it is a social networking site and the whole point is connecting with and adding to their long list of ‘friends’. When someone visits your own official website, all the focus is on you and your music and the visitor has more opportunity and incentive to linger and explore and develop a deeper connection to you and your music.

not everyone is a registered MySpace user or likes MySpace – although MySpace is extremely popular, there are a lot of people who, for various reasons, have not registered for MySpace. Sure, they can still find and access your MySpace profile but will be unlikely to connect with you through MySpace. There are even some people who have a dislike for MySpace, perhaps for such reasons as it being part of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, and will not have any interest in viewing your MySpace page. Having your own website that belongs to no one but you provides a neutral ground for everyone.

free from banner advertising distractions – MySpace is free to advertise whatever they want on your profile – that’s the main way they make their money. Your own website can be free of such distractions so that the entire focus is on you and your music.

a more personal experience for your fans – Having your own website designed to suit your image will give your site visitors a much more personal experience than a MySpace page could. You can create communication channels with your fans of your own choosing rather than relying on the generic ones provided by a social networking site.

MySpace is a great tool to help you reach new fans and is a must-have for every aspiring artist these days. But for artists that are serious about building their music careers it should be used as a complement to a dedicated website rather than a substitute for one.

One Response to this post
  1. Big Band Charts Said:

    Excellent article. I am still amazed at how many musicians and bands do not have individual websites. Having your own domain is much easier to control and if you couple it with a blog, it is much better in the eyes of the search engines as well. MySpace is great, but what if it folds one day? Things come and go on the internet, but if you have your own domain, you have placed your claim to your own virtual real estate.

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