MTV has used SxSW to confirm a new alliance with direct-to-fan firm Topspin which will result in the music telly network launching a new online network (in the US initially) called Artists.MTV, which will enable artists to sell stuff direct to the broadcaster’s online audience utilising Topspin’s technology and fulfilment services.
Confirming the new Topspin partnership, MTV’s Van Toffler told a South By launch event, according to Hypebot: “We are creating the artist platform in part to give back to the artists on whom we built our business”. The new site is due to go live in June.
While Topspin chief Ian Rogers told Billboard: “It is great for us. But I think it is generally great for artists. MTV has a fire hose, but they can’t use if for every artist, obviously. But it does actually scale because first of all they’ve got great SEO. That does scale for every artist on the platform. And they use mostly unsigned bands for [song placements] their shows. They’re completing the loop now from driving traffic from those shows to the web”.
Topspin is already involved in an initiative to let artists sell merch via their YouTube channels, and such partnerships presumably help the company compete against others in the direct-to-fan space, because as part of its package it can offer access to sizable mainstream audiences via web partners.