If MySpace isn’t going to be the online destination for musicians, maybe MTV is up for the job.
MTV unveiled its long-awaited Artists.MTV platform on Wednesday, launching a public beta for artists, managers and labels to claim pages at MTV.com and populate content. Each page streams music and video, contains video and news and has the capability to sell music and merchandise (via MTV’s partnership with Topspin Media). The platform will be open to all artists on September 6.
Individual artist pages are a clean, uncluttered mix of images and links to media. A row of official, live and other videos – called the music section – lies below the masthead (the masthead can be added once the page is claimed). MTV calls this the “music carousel” and says its content can be either audio or video (in either case, it’s official, license content and not user-generated stuff). “Our audience just wants a play button,” Shannon Connolly, VP of Digital Music Strategy, tells Billboard.biz.
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Further down the page are rows of social media updates, updates from MTV News and other sources, and ecommerce powered by the artist’s Topspin account. Nothing here will remind you of complicated, unattractive layout of MySpace. Some pages also have small badges that basically act as endorsements from music blogs (such as I Guess I’m Floating), record stores (Amoeba) music sites (Pitchfork) and radio stations (KCRW). MTV also adds other tags, such as the Buzzworthy badge seen at the Lady Gaga page.
MTV wants users to browse the site, discover new artists and delve into the music scenes of cities around the world. The site has what MTV calls “pivot points” such as hometown, genre and started (the year the artist or band started) at the top of each artist page. Clicking on that field will allow the user to browse according to those pivot points.