How Indie Artists Can Get More Fans And Get Paid On New Artists.MTV

Posted: August 14, 2013 in Artist Corner

 MTV announced Artists.MTV, a web platform that allows both established and emerging musicians the opportunity to claim their profiles on MTV and monetize them with services provided primarily through Topspin. Details are incomplete, but it’s clear that this is a great opportunity for indie artists to strengthen their web presence, since Artists.MTV will include content from other accounts and add some SEO juice.

They’ll also be considering a handful of artists for more MTV opportunities.  Perhaps most importantly, artists will be able to connect with and sell directly to fans while benefitting from other revenue streams related to their profiles.

Getting In Early

For those of you wanting to get into Artists.MTV as early as possible, submit your email now. Artists that are members of Topspin are supposed to get in first but, by submitting your email address, you should soon get an email saying a beta invite is on the way (I did) and the news that you’ll be receiving an additional invitation for a free 90 day membership in Topspin.

Announced last week, Artists.MTV will take a huge database of artist profiles, link it with Topspin services and allow artists to claim their profile. It’s said to be launching in June with an artists only private beta beginning in May though I get the feeling things may open up earlier based on the email I received.

Getting Started

When the private beta opens up:

“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.”

The pages will include the possiblity of aggregating a lot of content:

“everything from the artist’s Facebook page and Twitter account to Pitchfork reviews and tour dates via SongKick. ‘We wanted to make it really easy for the artist to just tell us who they are in all the places they frequent…If they prefer Twitter and Instagram, tell us who they are on those platforms. We can also sync on the audio and video front using Vevo, YouTube and directly uploaded video.'”

Topspin says you will also “be able to acquire new fans right on your Artists.MTV page.”

Getting Famous

MTV is planning to use Artists.MTV as a basis for identifying indies and giving them some attention. The first program announced is currently called 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.'”

Artists will be chosen for Full Frontal:

“by fans and a committee of artists, managers and producers. About 10 acts will be voted upon each month by fans, with MTV’s panel taking over from there…Acts can have a presence on Artists.MTV but opt out of the Full Frontal program. Those who opt in…stand the chance of being discovered by MTV’s music supervisors. Uploaded music then will be cleared for air and ready to be promoted.”

Getting Paid

From MTV on Artists.MTV:

“An upcoming partnership with Topspin…will also allow artists to use Artists.MTV to serve as their hub to potentially generate revenue by selling music, merchandise, and more…Through a revenue split with Topspin, artists will receive a majority of the profit.”

Topspin’s Artists.MTV FAQ states that:

“by the end of summer 2012, you’ll be able to sell your music and merchandise right from your page using Topspin. Sales through Artists.MTV pages will be subject to the same 15% fee as all other Topspin sales. Artists.MTV will…offer established and emerging artists an online home where they can…opt into a myriad of opportunities provided by MTV and its partners to generate exposure and revenue…including a ‘Tip Jar’ that will allow fans to literally ‘tip’ their favorite artists. 100% of the Tip Jar will go directly to the artist.”

According to Businessweek:

“Viacom’s Artists.MTV initiative, which also includes the VH1 and CMT music channels, will share any advertising revenue generated on the pages with the artists…Artists signed to record companies can direct traffic to other stores.”

“MTV won’t force artists to use its chosen retailers…Artists can use their MTV pages to direct visitors to tracks for sale at Apple’s’s iTunes, to tour promotions at Live Nation Entertainment Inc. (LYV) or to ad-supported music videos at Vevo.com.”

More on the ad revenue share from MediaPost:

“On the ad revenue side, [Shannon] Connolly says MTV is still figuring out what the proper ‘rev share’ model is, but that once it is set, it will be a uniform cut applied to all artists, not just big or small ones.”

Sounds like one of those deals that would be a mistake to turn down.

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