On Wednesday, MTV started to replace its online artist info pages with dynamic profiles that will become the hub of the network's online presence and TV programming. Artists.MTV uses Songkick to pull up tour dates, Topspin to sell merchandise and the Echo Nest to determine artist similarity.
"We needed an anchor for all the artist-centric things we've been doing on all our different screens," Shannon Connolly, Viacom's Senior VP of Digital Music Strategy, told Rolling Stone. "There was a lot left to be desired when it came to music discovery."
Artists.MTV takes a page from MySpace's formerly successful formula by letting artists take full control of their image on their profile. Artist can claim their MTV profiles to promote upcoming albums, release new videos or reveal tour dates. Unclaimed profiles are populated with social media feeds from the artists as well as music videos and TV footage from the MTV archives.
But it's not just the Gagas and the Pinks of the world who will get to benefit from MTV's new social experiment. Unsigned artists will also be able to create a profile, promote their music and profit from the MTV brand.
"MTV has always been about breaking artists," Connolly said. Artists.MTV will give independent artists not only a chance to connect with fans but also the opportunity to submit their music directly to MTV.
"Whether we are looking to use a song on Teen Mom or a new EDM video to play on rotation or an artist to open up for Unplugged, we are the only ones that can put your music on TV," Connolly said.
Currently in beta, MTV is planning an official public launch of this new platform during this year's Video Music Awards on September 6th. Although details haven't been revealed fully yet, viewers should expect an integration of Artists.MTV during one or several of the show's performances.
In October, MTV will launch a mobile app titled My Artists, which will be a promotional news feed of acts on the platform. In November, Artists.MTV will expand to include the CMT and Vh1 brands.