MTV targets MySpace

At the South by Southwest festival MTV announced Artists.MTV, a project to let musicians “claim” and customise their pages among the thousands on MTV’s site. The idea is to collect in one place — namely MTV.com, whose sites have 60 million unique visitors each month — some of the traffic that might go off in various directions when a fan looks for a band online.

“Artist pages exist as islands on the….it’s a disparate experience. What we are trying to do is connect them through music discovery.” The new pages, which will begin in private beta form in May and are to open fully this summer, will allow artists to post their own content, and sell music, tickets or merchandise. All of which used to be very much MySpace territory.

MTV has teamed with Topspin Media, one of a growing number of “direct to fan” technology companies that create online tools for artists to use in selling and marketing their music and other products. Musicians who claim their Artists.MTV pages will have use of Topspin’s technology — including embeddable widgets — and pay Topspin its standard 15 per cent fee for any sales.

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