Ashley's Monday rant: Is YouTube the new MySpace for bands?


Here at Tech Digest we are obviously huge fans of both MySpace and YouTube. You can find our content all over both sites. Yet while it was obvious to all of us that MySpace was going to be huge the minute that bands got a sniff of it, the speed in which YouTube has established itself has taken everyone, including us, by surprise.

The big debate now in the Shiny office is quite what impact YouTube is going to have on what the office pensioners refer to as the ‘music scene.’ Or as Katie so eloquently put it the other day, ‘It is so over for bands on MySpace now – YouTube is so where it’s at.’

Well she certainly has point. Get a band with a great video – like the amazing Ok Go – which is all over our blogs and you can rack up thousands of views and loads of new punters are exposed to your tunes.

As for MySpace it is getting hard for bands to get noticed on the site as, let’s face it, your auntie’s skiffle outfit probably has its own page. It is quite likely that if The Arctic Monkeys debuted on MySpace today, given the number of acts on the site they’d be entertaining the flat caps and whippets in Yorkshire working men’s clubs for a lot longer than they’d hoped.

Here’s an example of how crowded the site has become. A year or so ago I searched YouTube to find bands influenced by Scott Walker. After typing in the key word I came up with a handful of very cool acts who I checked out straight away. I tried this again the other night and let’s say there were so many that I barely dented the As.

As for YouTube it will be interesting to see how going stellar on the site translates into downloads and CD sales. I suspect not a great deal at all. The OK Go song is good in a ‘here comes another skinny tied quirky American power/pop band’ kind of way, but I can’t imagine too many people would be tuning in were it not for the amazing running machines in the video.

So yep MySpace is getting mighty crowded and YouTube does offer bands great profile if they can come up with cool videos. As for the future, well there might be some serious categorisation already going on in MySpace, but given the way that the web seems to major on niches I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw the indie, dance, retro and, if your auntie is lucky, skiffle clones of MySpace very shortly.

Shiny’s Nigella Lawson influenced YouTube vids are here. Search yourself for our MySpace stuff and check out our favourite retro MySpace bands on PopJunkie.

Ashley Norris

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