Is Myspace Justin Timberlake’s Charlotte Bobcats?

My excitement for the release of Justin Timberlake’s new album, The 20/20 Experience, has been building since the release of his first single, a very grown-up “Suit & Tie”.

Then there was his performance of the aforementioned cut plus the sexy “Pusher Love Girl” at the Grammys.

Then I watched SNL last Saturday with a bunch of people who were also watching it live instead of waiting for the skits to show up on Hulu. And although I’m afraid I might suffer some sort of JT overload-induced vertigo, I DVR’d all of this week’s episodes of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (it’s Justin Timberweek!). Guess I’m not THAT afraid.

So when I learned that I could livestream his new album from iTunes, I was SUPER geeked.

But didn’t I hear that Timberlake was backing Myspace? Is it with just his face or his money, too? Because if I were spending my own money, I’d make sure that Myspace had a mobile app that could livestream my much-anticipated content. I deleted my old account in 2011 or so after not having used it regularly for a couple of years, but if Myspace was the only place I could hear the entire album before purchasing, I would have created a new, minimalist profile just to get access.  I bet others would have, too–what’s one more free mobile app account?

Is it a music rights issue? If the technology was there, would have been contractually possible? Or does everyone in JT’s marketing machine realize that iTunes is where people actually buy music if they feel like paying for it at all, so it makes (dollars and) sense to direct listeners to iTunes for a sample? I really don’t know enough about the moving parts of music labels and distributors and whatnot, but it sounds to me like a missed Myspace opportunity.

I’d say as an artist, JT is having the best week ever, is hashtag-winning, etc., but the team he “bought” is still not a player. As we’ve seen with Michael Jordan, you can be (arguably) the greatest player of all time, but that does not a good owner or chairman make.

By the way, the album is grrreat, and so is last night’s live performance from LNJF. Enjoy!

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