Over the weekend at the MidemNet music event in Cannes, MySpace CEO Owen Van Natta took the stage to talk about the current status of the struggling company. During his keynote interview with Billboard editorial director Bill Werde, Van Natta stated that MySpace was showing an increase in unique visitors for the first time since the middle of last year. In fact, Van Natta said that according to comScore data, MySpace visitors grew by 7 percent between November and December. That may sound like great news for the site, but it may be misleading: many of these new users may have simply been redirected users of Imeem.
MySpace completed its acquisition of Imeem on December 8, and the music service was promptly shut down (Imeem was out of money and its music licenses were expiring). As soon as Imeem shut down, MySpace redirected all of its traffic to its own music site. Now, we can’t tell exactly how many users MySpace gained from these redirects, but according to comScore MySpace saw a jump in 4.7 million unique visitors in December, which is about the same as what comScore was measuring for Imeem in previous months (it had 4.6M in October and 4.4M in November). Again, we can’t definitively say how much of MySpace’s growth was due to Imeem, but it’s likely that it represented a substantial portion of it.
To be fair, Van Natta and MySpace aren’t exactly out boasting about their improved traffic stats — Van Natta’s comment was in response to a question that was posed to him on stage, and he followed it up by saying, “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here but it’s good that the numbers have stabilized and we hope this will continue”.
It’s worth pointing out that while MySpace’s uniques have stabilized after big drops last spring and summer, it’s unclear if the number of page views the site receives has stabilized (see the comScore graph below).