Wednesday 11 January 2012, 10:34 | By CMU Editorial
MySpace announces relaunch as ‘second screen’ service
MySpace has finally got around to unveiling its big plan to win back its flagging userbase with something of a radical (if not entirely original) new service. At the aforementioned Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the company’s co-owner and creative guide Justin Timberlake (yep, he’s still on board) took to the stage to explain MySpace TV, a ‘second screen’ service that allows users to discuss TV shows as they watch them.
The service will launch on the new range of Panasonic internet-connected TVs – although it will also be available through other devices too – and will allow people to see what their friends are watching and discuss shows in real time.
So called ‘second screening’ has grown in popularity in recent years, as people in their thousands take to Twitter to discuss how rubbish ‘X-Factor’ is as they watch it, and to do the online version of shouting at the telly during ‘Question Time’. MySpace isn’t the first company to launch a service dedicated just to discussing TV – BSkyB this week bought a 10% stake in the longer established Zeebox – and they, like other start-ups in this area, will face the challenge of trying to attract people away from the Facebook and Twitter when they want to talk about their favourite shows.
MySpace will attempt to get around this problem by not focusing on live TV shows, and will instead only offer the service for discussing content hosted within its own system. Initially it will be music focussed, using the website’s current licensing deals, which give it access to 100,000 music videos and 42 million songs. There are plans to add other types of TV shows and films into the system in the future though. This does, of course, mean that the new MySpace service’s competitors aren’t really less established brands, such as Zeebox, but more the likes of YouTube and Hulu.
Justin Timberlake thinks it’s very exciting though: