An Inside Look Into MTV’s Next Big Thing: Artists.MTV
Not since the heyday of MySpace has there been one single go-to destination where music fans can get reliable information about musicians on every front. With so much content out there, and with many musicians’ websites simply not providing an immersive enough experience, fans rely on search engines to find things that are dispersed all over the web including news, blogs, videos, tour dates, biographies, discographies, and photos. Now with Twitter, Facebook, BandCamp, SoundCloud and others being factored in, there seems to be missing one solitary platform where fans can go to make all these connections, and MTV believes they have created the solution with Artists.MTV.
Artists.MTV is a new site where fans can listen to and purchase music, buy tickets, and find merchandise all in one spot, while musicians at every level can connect with a massive MTV audience. Fans can browse by categories like Emerging, Popular, Genre, and Collections, plus find artists based on one’s similarity to another. A pretty sweet deal for music fans, as they can find all the information and content assets they’d ever need in one centralized spot, while having a myriad of options to discover more artists along the way.
The deal seems to get even sweeter for musicians, as MTV has challenged themselves to “come up with a multi-tiered approach to delivering on the ‘get paid’ part of the promise for artists.” They approach this concept from a number of angles.
Artists can use their banner to promote whatever they want directly to their MTV audience. For instance, if an artist earns the majority of their revenue from iTunes, their website or their Bandcamp, the choice is theirs where to send their fans. MTV has also said that future product features are in the works that will allow fans to “kick in” directly to the artists without middlemen or splits. Through a partnership with Topspin, artists can make money by selling their digital and physical products, merchandise, and tickets directly to their MTV fan base.
“Whatever fans want to give the artist goes direct into their account,” MTV told Hypebot. “Our audience loves to do this and we know artists need as many direct sources of revenue as possible.” MTV is also offering an ad revenue share to artists (this will take effect when they leave the beta period), where unsigned artists will get half of the advertising revenue that runs alongside their music and videos.
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MTV has been laying the groundwork for what would become Artists.MTV for some time. Two years ago, they re-aligned part of their digital strategy to reflect their roots in music and launched a series of music-specific digital initiatives like MTV Hive, a pure music play site, and the O Music Awards, a digital only award show that celebrates how technology is impacting music. In late 2010, they launched the MTV Music Meter (powered by The Echo Nest), which is a cross-platform music discovery tool that ranks artists based on buzz. The product extended their coverage from about 10K artists to more than 1.8 million and reflected a wider conversation about music – not just their own curation and choices.
As of today, MTV launches the public beta for Artists.MTV and fully integrates it into MTV.com. Because these pages are replacing artist pages that already exist, MTV expects millions of fans to be seeing them in the first month. Throughout September and October, MTV will begin on-air promotion by switching Song ID’s, credit squeezes, and on-air chyrons to all be artist-focused and routing fans directly to their pages. Every time they play a video in rotation, feature an artist in a show, or showcase a long-form performance, they will route fans back to the artist platform.
MTV promises to launch an Artists.MTV mobile app and an optimized mobile web experience by the end of 2012. By then, they plan to also build one, unified platform that supports CMT.com and VH1.com – “tripling the promotional power of the platform and unifying music discovery across screens, channels, and platforms.”
MTV plans to open up the platform to all artists to claim or create pages on September 6th at the Video Music Awards (VMAs), but has been gracious enough to grant Beta invites for Hypebot readers. Simply send an email with “Hypebot” in the subject line to artists(at)mtv(dot)com to claim yours.