NEW YORK (Hypebot) – Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music Group, announced the formation of a strategic partnership with OurStage during his keynote session at the Billboard Music & Money Symposium. MTV Networks—home of some of the biggest music brands including MTV, CMT and VH1—and OurStage, Inc., the preeminent online community-powered new music discovery site, will align to develop a broad array of promotional initiatives for emerging talent. The two companies will seek out and promote new artists and personalities bubbling up on OurStage's voting platform, drawing from a wide variety of genres and showcasing performers across the multiple screens of MTV Networks' Music Group.
"Our music brands are uniquely positioned to expose fans to emerging artists wherever they seek out their own personal music connections today – from the 150-200 daily music cues we average in current MTV programming, to the 600 music video hours on TV each week across the music networks, to online music video programming, to mobile music apps and music video games such as the popular 'Rock Band' franchise," said Dermot McCormack, Executive Vice President, Digital Media, MTV Networks Music & Logo Group. "The OurStage artist community base and extraordinary voting platform is a massive untapped resource for our music team and one of the best music discovery experiences for music fans out there today."
To kick off the initiative, each week MTV will spotlight an emerging artist bubbling up on the OurStage platform in a feature called "Needle in the Haystack" (NITH). Each NITH artist will be interviewed by MTV Music bloggers and promoted heavily as an "artist to watch" across MTVN's sites and through social network channels, including the official MTV Twitter feeds.
As part of the collaboration, emerging OurStage artists will have the opportunity to get their music in select MTVN on-air programming, including an all new season of "Parental Control" and the upcoming "Get Hired," a new show revolving around 20-somethings trying to make it in the professional work force.
The music brands will be also be tapping into OurStage's enthusiastic fan base and using the platform for several upcoming competitions, including the next installment of CMT's Music City Madness Competition. Now in its fifth year, this premier Country music new artist competition is using OurStage to power the viewer voting for the 2010 competition launching in June with an improved interface and ranking system.
MTV will also use the platform for an upcoming competition that will offer OurStage artists the opportunity to be featured in a new iteration of MTV's $5 Cover, a groundbreaking, serial-music drama series from MTV's New Media division.
"We're proud to work together with the MTVN music group to help build our brand into the premier discovery and promotion platform for new artists," said Benjamin Campbell, CEO, OurStage, Inc. "By creating a fair, democratic path to success for up-and-coming performers around the world, we hope to take the very best unknown artists and fully deliver on their dreams of stardom – based exclusively on their talent – as determined by the wisdom of with the fans and the reach of these powerful music brands."