MTV has improved Music Meter for iOS, Android and Web by integrating tour data from Songkick and adding lists for different music categories. Music Meter is a partnership between MTV Hive and 5 gum brand of chewing gum (whose display and pre-roll ads are now featured on the website and in the apps).
Powered by music intelligence startup the Echo Nest, Music Meter connects music fans with breaking artists ranked according to MTV's measure of "overall buzz across digital and social." The list defaults to an "up and coming" category but also offers lists for indie, alternative, hip hop, rock and electronic. It offers an assortment of information on each artist: Rhapsody-powered 30-second samples, music videos, photos, new items, artist bio and, with the update, tour dates provided by Songkick. Users can also search for a specific artist.
Music Meter is a very in-the-moment experience, a snap shot of the constantly evolving world of online music. "We wanted to take a wider view of music and reflect the conversations of music in real-time," says Shannon Connolly, VP of Digital Music Strategy for MTV Music Group.
Each list is the result of an algorithm based on artist mentions at blogs, online news sites and social media in addition to streaming and download volume. Where an artist is being talked about influences the Music Meter list where that artist appears. For example, indie rock artist Bon Iver showed up on Music Meter's mainstream list after winning a Grammy for best new artist. Music Meter accounted for which online sources were talking about Bon Iver. Once he entered into a more mainstream conversation, he was placed on the mainstream Music Meter list.
While there are many other music discovery tools on the market, MTV sees Music Meter as part of its core mission of helping connect artists and fans. The company has always been about "cutting through the noise" and helping people find new music, says Connolly.
The bigger picture, says Connolly, is how Music Meter fits into overall strategy of using new platforms. MTV launched Music Meter as a test of fans' appetite for this kind of discovery tool and is happy with its success. The app has been downloaded over 1 million times to date without MTV giving it a big promotional push. Aside from the Music Meter website and mobile apps, the Music Meter list can be seen on the main page at MTV Hive, the blog-like property launched in March 2011 that has music reviews, music news and opinion, and audio and video with an eye toward music discovery.