SXSW Interview: Tom Anderson
Austin Convention Center, Thursday, March 15
Was MySpace designed for band promotion? "Music tends to dominate what people think about [MySpace]," declared the Web site's co-founder/President Tom Anderson. "But music was added six months after it started." In a conversation with Steve Jones Sex Pistol guitarist and deejay on L.A.'s Indie 103.1 Anderson described how his small company grew to afford him being Rupert Murdoch's "good friend" ($580 million doesn't hurt). One reason for MySpace's success? Anderson: "When someone at work asks why we're doing something, I tell them because 2 million people told us to." While some of the audience's technical questions should have been replaced with Sex Pistols anecdotes, MySpace gets more hits in the U.S. than Google or Yahoo, making an inside view telling. Jones did relay when Austin's Black Angels described how surprised they were with their European reception, thanks to MySpace. Even Anderson seemed in awe of MySpace's success: "We didn't expect it to be cool, with people trading URLs instead of phone numbers."