As first reported by textfiles.com proprietor Jason Scott, and tech expert Andy Baio, MySpace, once the key promoter of independent music and upcoming artists has lost 50 million songs from 12 million artists accumulated during a 12 year period between 2002 and 2015.
At the turn of the century, the online site was instrumental in helping many musicians like The Arctic Monkeys and Klaxons start publishing their music, preceding the current huge popularity of Bandcamp and Spotify. In the last few years the popularity of MySpace was on a sharp decline, but the site still has more than 50 million users per year.
The real problems started when the links to music stopped working in 2018 and culminated with this complete loss that occurred when the site was performing server migration. But it turns out it was not only the music that was lost, but also other uploaded files.
An official statement from the company said:
“As a result of a server migration project, any photos, videos, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from Myspace. We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copies. If you would like more information, please contact our Data Protection Officer, Dr. Jana Jentzsch at DPO@myspace.com.”
According to Baio, ‘the inconvenience’ might not exactly be an accident. While it could be attributed to negligence and incompetence, he thinks that the MySpace owners didn’t want to bother and have additional expenses of migrating and hosting “50 million old MP3s.”
Whatever the quality of music that was available on MySpace, it is a significant cultural loss, no matter whether the artists themselves still have the original copies, or whether they wanted to keep them anyway.