5 reasons Mark Cuban was obviously joking about moving to MySpace

Last week, you undoubtedly heard the shot Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, took at Facebook, essentially threatening to take his Mavs account/page over to MySpace (and Tumblr).

Cuban said what many people have been thinking of late: Why is Facebook hijacking my page? Why are they virtually demanding I spend money now to reach my fans on their platform? It’s a valid claim, but one I’m surprised to hear brands complaining about given Facebook is an off-domain platform (read: You don’t own Facebook–Zuckerberg always did, and shareholders do now).

But, when you really sit down and think about Cuban’s rant, he was clearly full of hot air (and this coming from one of his biggest fan–I’ve long had a man-crush on Cuban). I mean, MySpace for the Mavs? Really, Mark? You’re smarter than that.

Here’s 5 good reasons Cuban was obviously joking:

His audience doesn’t live there

You know who’s on MySpace? Musicians. 25 million of them, as of Jun 2012. Meanwhile, Facebook as ONE BILLION users. In fact, a full 66 percent of U.S. adults say they use Facebook, according to Pew Interent. Which numbers would you bank on if you were a business owner?

It’s backed by Justin Timberlake

I mean, I love JT. Great musician. But, he’s a player in the MUSIC industry–not the NBA. The whole reason, I would guess, that Timberlake is involved, is to help investors Tim and Chris Vanderhook build a platform that musicians–and fans–will come back to. As you can see from recent clippings, Timberlake is clearly the front man. That was most likely by design. But again, they’re going after the music and entertainment industry–not necessarily all business (or NBA basketball teams).

Third-party vendors aren’t there yet

One big advantage Facebook has over many other platforms right now–their openness to third-party vendors. And, the connectedness Facebook brings. Think of all the sites you sign into through Facebook–I don’t see a “Sign in through MySpace” sign up. The lesson? Facebook is ubiquitous. MySpace is very, very niche (right now).

MySpace still = music

As much as they might eventually try to change this perception (although last week’s Timberlake buzz isn’t helping), most folks still equate MySpace with music. Now, do people who love the Mavs also love music? Sure. But, they’re not GOING to MySpace to stay up to date on the Mavs. They’re going there to hear the latest tunes from their favorite artists.

You’re going to throw away (or piss off) 2.3 million fans?

The Dallas Mavericks Facebook page has 2.3 million fans currently. Now, I’m guessing a big chunk of those 2.3 million actually still enjoy spending time on Facebook. They’re probably part of the same chunk that spends six-plus hours a month on Facebook. They have, on average, 229 friends on Facebook. And, I’ll take a wild guess and say many of them still think MySpace is a dead platform. So, why move? I mean, you’d be starting FROM SCRATCH. Think you’d be able to build up to that 2.3 million mark quickly? I’m guessing that would take some time (maybe the length of an NBA season?).

What did you think of Cuban’s tantrum last week? Think he would have *really* moved to MySpace?

 

4 comments
kmskala
kmskala

A few things.

1) I believe Timberlake actually IS in the NBA. I believe he's part of a group that has purchased or is in the process of purchasing the Memphis Grizzlies :)

 

2) The audience isn't there...yet. The new interface hasn't been launched to the public yet. Give it some time. I think you'll see a lot of people migrate over. There's a lot of angst among consumers and brands with Facebook. I'm scaling back my efforts on Facebook and if I could get rid of it completely (personal and professional) I would. I would kick Facebook to the curb before Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr. In a heartbeat.

 

3) No one will or should move completely to one platform or abandon a platform. But I am willing to bet that a lot will shift dollars towards other platforms. Besides, there's nothing wrong with small, niche communities.

LPT
LPT

If you read more of his comments than his tweet, he didn't actually say he was leaving Facebook for the other networks, just that he wasn't going to invest any more money into driving new fans to the page there - http://readwrite.com/2012/11/13/mark-cuban-facebooks-sponsored-posts-are-driving-away-brands - potentially switching his investment to other platforms that are now growing, rather than continuing to invest in one that is restricting the flow of information to fans. More from him on the topic came out today: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-cuban/facebook-sponsored-posts_b_2158116.html 

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

 @kmskala OK, fair point about JT: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/8346780/sources-prospesctive-memphis-grizzlies-owner-recruits-justin-timberlake. Still, music is his priority and that's what MySpace was after when they brought him in.

 

Time will tell on migration, I guess. Seems to be pretty trendy to hate on Facebook right now, but I'm guessing Facebook will adjust. Remember, they're still ONE BILLION users. No one comes close. That works for them, and against them, obviously, but they're still the dominant platform across the Web. 

 

And you're right, there's nothing wrong with smaller, niche communities. Unless you're a brand and you can about scale and numbers (which sums up the thoughts of the majority of the brands, it seems, right now). Wouldn't you agree?

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

 @LPT Thanks. Yeah, I read that first article last week. But I think the concepts still apply, because if he's not investing in FB, he may as well not even play there. I mean, that seems to be the way they're setting it up now, right? That's his chief complaint. And I get it. I just think putting FB to the bottom of his list right now might not be the smartest business decision. But then again, there's a reason Cuban is a billionnaire and I'm not ;) (thanks for the HuffPo link, too. Hadn't seen that today. Very interesting--his last point about the mission, in particular)