MTV is still one of the Meccas for music. As part of Viacom’s family of TV channels and web properties that include MTV, VH1 and CMT it is a dominating force in music despite people bitching that they don’t show music videos 24/7 any more. That being the case wouldn’t it be great if MTV would offer a way for unknown artists to become part of their brand? Of course it would and now they do.
I’m not sure when mtv.com started this program but I have been aware of it for at least a few months. I know it is a chore to keep track of your existing social media pages and your overall web presence You might be reluctant to take on another one but if you invest the time necessary to promote this one properly I think it will pay off in time.
The opportunity offered by MTV is as useful as you make it. Like any other site on the web it has a lot of material from a lot of artists on it and I think most people have realized by now that just being on a high profile site is not a guaranteed ticket to fame and fortune. It is just a tool that is being offered for you to use to the best of your ability to promote yourself.
I want to give you a quick rundown on this because it does offer more incentives than some others. Check out the screen shot below. You will see that the first perk is that you get co-branding with MTV on the page and in the URL itself. I picked a random, unclaimed page to illustrate: http://www.mtv.com/artists/meital-dohan/. Note that your name is identified in the URL as an MTV/artist/you. That is cool in itself.
Many artists will find that MTV has an existing page set up for them using resources gathered from the web such as a bio from Wikipedia, a social media feed from twitter and videos from Vimeo. That makes it easy to get started and gives you that warm fuzzy feeling of being recognized in a vague and probably coincidental way by MTV.
If you look at the dropdown menu in the upper right corner of the MTV Artist Page you will find that MTV offers some opportunities beyond what they already did for you by making the page. How you take advantage of opportunities as they arise is what successful promotion is all about. Recognizing and capitalizing on opportunities to their fullest potential is what I do for clients every day and there is really no substitute for experience (good intentions or not). If you need to go the DIY route though I’m going to give you some ideas to run with.
First off, the opportunities according to MTV:
- Get featured on MTV Buzzworthy
- Get featured on MTV Hive
- MTV Video Rotation – Get Your Video On-Air
- CMT Video Rotatio – Get Your Video On-Air
- VH1 Video Rotation – Get Your Video On-Air
Sounds great right? So you claim your page and then what? How do you get to the point where you can get TV airplay? According to MTV they are looking for the same thing everyone else is; “Original content is king, the more creative you get the more our music programmers will take notice. Make noise, the more fans you drive to your video or artist page, the faster our music programmers will see your video in their queue.”
Claiming your page gives you the ability to upload content and to sell your music from the MTV site via artistlink.com. When you start an account there a page on one of the MTV properties is automatically created for you. After you claim the page you can upload songs and videos. It also gives you a banner you can share to build your audience and it tracks those numbers.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if the big record companies did something like this? They would offer free web pages to indie artists and then the ones that were able to become the most popular via those pages would get a recording contract. Wait a minute, isn’t that pretty much how this works anyway? I mean, if you get very popular on the web it opens doors. If you get popular enough on MTV to be in rotation on television I would imagine that would open some doors too. So the only difference from my hypothetical example is that, instead of one record company you get to choose which one you want to sign with.
Let’s assume that you already have some experience with DIY promotion and you have a thriving website and social network (fan base). In that case you can start out by relying on your existing peeps to spread the word about your MTV artist page. In that instance it is similar to a campaign on a site like Kickstarter. But if you are like most people your existing fan base won’t be enough to reach your goal. Plus, the site is not yet able to display Youtube videos so I am assuming that the millions of views that you already have on YouTube won’t help you here. You have to treat this like a brand new website.
What do you do to keep the views to your MTV page coming when the initial enthusiasm runs out? Or, what if you don’t have a very large or very involved fan base to begin with? Are you doomed to playing gigs in tiny roadside bars on Monday night for an audience of 4 (excluding you, the bartender, the cook and your small band of loyal followers) for eternity?
No, not necessarily. What makes the difference is how much of an effort you can put into your online promotional effort. The options open to you are 1; to sit and follow likely people on twitter and hope you can build up 50 – 100,000 followers that way. Facebook is kind of off limits in that way as you can’t directly invite friends from your fan page. However you can invite them to like your fan page from your personal page. Again you just need the time and determination to sit there and do it long enough to build up a lot of fans. I would treat the MTV page like my primary website so that all my traffic runs through it.
Or 2; hire someone who knows how to utilize the tools available on the web through search engines and social networks. Someone like myself can put your MTV Artist Page in front of millions of eyes. The campaign can be targeted to your most likely potential fans by various means and it can be done on YOUR budget. It is the best way I have found to build an audience for a film or a band and it beats the free DIY methods hands down.