The awesome thing about the Web is that anyone can upload anything and everything all the time. For music fans, this has provided an endless smorgasbord of discovery and wonderment. But the downside is that ... anyone can upload anything and everything all the time, which means lots of dead-ends, wasted time and really, really terrible "discoveries."
Enter Artists.MTV. While technology has made it way easier for artists to produce and distribute their own music on their own terms (see Radiohead), it hasn't made it any simpler to find a way to cut through all the Internet noise and speak directly to all of their potential fans.
The summer launch of Artists.MTV is an attempt to help music junkies and musicians close the gap by providing a one-stop place where fans can listen to and buy music and purchase concert tickets and merchandise. For the musicians — both known and not-so-famous — it's a way to connect with an audience and get a presence across a number of our screens (MTV, VH1, CMT across web, mobile and TV) and tap into our network of 600 million households and 60 million digital fans.
The pro-artist initiative will give established and emerging artists a digital homestead where they can have more access to their presence across MTV Music Group screens to build their fanbase and opt into a number of opportunities that could help them get exposure ... and get paid. Part of the program is "Full Frontal," in which select artists will be chosen through a combination of audience and industry sourcing to be showcased across the Music Group's TV channels (MTV, VH1, CMT, MTV2, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, mtvU, VH1 Classic, VH1 Soul, CMT Pure Country and Palladia) and digital properties for a month. They could show up as an MTV PUSH artist, or in VH1's "You Oughta Know," be featured in interviews and news articles on MTV News, VH1 News and CMT News, on MTV HIVE, or in appearances on music programs like MTV2's "120 Minutes With Matt Pinfield" and MTV Hive's "Weird Vibes."
"With Artists.MTV, we want to make music history accessible, open a door to today's musicians and spotlight the best new music by giving the millions of fans our brands connect with every day access to the most compelling performances, interviews, reviews, artist favorites and whatever else artists elect to port," said Van Toffler, president of Viacom's Music Group. "There is infinite choice out there, but with this artist platform, we want to provide a meaningful road map for consumers to weed through the chaos, and discover the musical gems that should break through."
Beginning May 1, Artists.MTV will launch a private beta for artists that will expand MTV Music Group's current roster of more than 10,000 artist pages to over 1 million. Artists will be able to claim and customize their pages, including tools to upload music, videos, photographs, as well as sync their social accounts to pull content in from across the Web. An upcoming partnership with Topspin — one of the leading direct-to-fan platforms — will also allow artists to use Artists.MTV to serve as their hub to potentially generate revenue by selling music, merchandise, and more. The best part? Through a revenue split with Topspin, artists will receive a majority of the profit.
Artists.MTV will launch a private beta for music fans on May 16; sign up now on Artists.MTV to be part of and receive additional information on the private launch.