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Social Media Sites as Talent Incubators

The line that may have defined the ‘80’s culturally – “I want my MTV” – was Sting’s vocal contribution to Dire Straits’ “Money for Nothing,” the band’s most successful single from their cart-topping “Brothers in Arms” album. Twenty-five years later (that’s right you older folks, twenty-five years), the refrain might rather seems to have been reversed. “MTV Wants You,” it turns out.

Bloomberg News reports that the pioneering cable music video channel released its ‘MTV Music Meter’ on December 14. The new web service

“scans social networks for bands generating an increasing number of comments,” and is intended “to re-associate and new-associate the MTV brand with music,” according to MTV Network’s head of digital operations, Dermot McCormick. Enter MTV as digital talent scout and promoter.

Music Meter will provide “music videos and 30-second samples of tracks” of the most-discussed established and (hopefully) emerging stars, with full songs available for purchase on-site.  Bloomberg reports that MTV (owned by media giant Viacom Inc.) “is working with Rhapsody International Inc. to provide full tracks in the near future,” while a subsequent edition of Music Meter will add an Internet radio function.

Music Meter is intended to be a fully monetized social media marketing platform from the beginning. Online advertising will be limited during the first two months of the rollout, while MTV continues to work “with one or two big brands” who may sponsor the site; however, when the rollout is finished, advertisers will be able to associate their ads with specified music genres and styles. And, in a nod to the power of the booming mobile advertising market, companies will be able to “provide coupons or other promotions to users based on their location.”

The Music Meter platform grew out of the success MTV had when it started up an online digital version of its first-class “MTV Unplugged” concert series last year. Strategically, Music Meter is intended to compete with (a collaboration between Viacom rivals, Vivendi SA and Sony Corp.) and MySpace, which has started switching its focus from social networking to entertainment, including online and mobile music features.

James Barry covers social media marketing and related topics for, a Toronto-based firm offering a full line of SEO services.

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2 Replies

  1. Interesting post. Great to see the addition of the social component. Thanks for sharing.

  2. finally getting back in touch with the music. interesting approach. its a popularity contest but better than anything they have set up now.

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