MySpace loses 12 years of music uploads, an estimated 50 million songs

Former MySpace co-owner Justin Timberlake, center, at a 2012 press event with MySpace Chief Executive Tim Vanderhook, left, and Panasonic executive Shiro Kitajima.
(Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

MySpace reemerged from the shadows this week to announce that all music uploaded to the site before 2015 has been lost.

The social network admitted that an estimated 50 million songs from about 14 million artists is gone in the cyber ether.

“As a result of a server migration project, any photos, video, and audio files you uploaded more than three years ago may no longer be available on or from MySpace,” the company said in a statement. “We apologize for the inconvenience and suggest that you retain your back up copies.”


Concerns and issues from artists attempting to retrieve music from MySpace were detailed in a Reddit thread over the weekend, but the problem wasn’t new.

Complaints about music links on MySpace date back at least a year to when a user couldn’t access songs on the site. A response attributed to the social network’s support team said that the site was aware of the issue and that it was working to resolve it, but that no resolution was forthcoming.

The once enormously popular platform, which launched in 2003, attracted millions of users in its prime but has since waned. Over the years, it has been transferred from owner to owner, counting Justin Timberlake among those who once had a stake.

Almost by accident, MySpace became especially popular among indie musicians as a democratic place to share music and unite fans. It helped catapult the careers of English rock band Arctic Monkeys, singer-songwriter Kate Nash and even Taylor Swift.

But in more recent years, MySpace has become a sort of internet footnote, dwarfed by the popularity of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social media sites.