Myspace, continuing its effort to mount a comeback, launched a mobile application that offers free, unlimited streaming of radio stations programmed by such artists as Pharrell Williams, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Lady Antebellum and Justin Timberlake.
The application, available through Apple's App Store, allows people to create and program their own radio stations as well as to tune in to those programmed by artists or Myspace. The app boasts social features to help users discover and connect with others of similar musical tastes or interests. And it comes with a novel twist: Users can make short, stop-motion images with the app using the iPhone's camera, and share the images on Myspace or elsewhere.
The Myspace app is an extension of the redesigned social network, which has returned to its roots as a place where musicians and fans can connect and just emerged from its public beta test phase. The new site boasts an uncluttered, visually arresting new look -- quite a departure from the Times Square neon days of old. The site allows artists to showcase their music and put together playlists, upload photos and videos and promote concerts.
"The magic of Myspace is this integration of creative expression, community discovery and promotion all come together," said Myspace Chief Executive Tim Vanderhook. "Myspace is the world’s first functioning global creative ecosystem."
The rebooted Myspace is slowly gathering momentum with users, attracting some 11.6 million people in May, according to measurement firm ComScore. That ranks Myspace in the top 10 of social networks in the U.S. -- though a far distance from digital hangouts like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or Pinterest.
The Myspace app was unveiled in the same week that Apple announced its long-anticipated iTunes Radio, a free, ad-supported Internet radio service with 200 programmed stations. This fall, Apple said it will provide a more personalized listening experience, based on the songs a user purchased through the iTunes store, or listened to through iTunes Radio.
Both Myspace and iTunes Radio will compete with more established streaming music services, including Pandora, Spotify, Grooveshark and Rdio.