MTV will partner with Sony/ATV's "Extreme Music" production library to market the music of unsigned artists and bands to music supervisors for commercials, television shows and movies.
The partnership, which will operate under the name HYPE, will see MTV executives identifying unsigned artists whose music might work well in MTV shows. Initially, the music will be shopped to MTV productions and then through the Extreme relationship be come a secondary offering to other music supervisors at other networks and brands.
What's more, for music that connects with music supervisors, MTV will serve as its digital distributors bringing the music to online digital retailers and other digital music service providers.
"One of the amazing things at MTV is its support for championing emerging artist and its desire to be a part of an artist's career at the beginning," said Joe Cuello, MTV's senior VP of creative music integration. "Our shows can afford to provide emerging artists with opportunities.
"We don't have a prime portal where artist can come and compete for the opportunity, although there is potential for something like that down the line," he continued. "We do have a team of people who go to shows who talk to [musicians], and producers and have dialogues" with people who know about up-and-coming music.
Already, artists like Midi Mafia, Locksley, and National Skyline" have benefited by having their songs placed in the "Jersey Shore" reality show, while 3D Friends has enjoyed placement in "Skins." For example, Midi Mafia was featured in Season 2 of Jersey Shore and has scanned 22,000 track , after selling a little bit short of 2,000 units in 2009.
"It's no secret that the music industry is gasping for air and struggling for ways to break new artists," Extreme Music CEO Russell Emanuel said in a statement. "HYPE's hybrid model as an artist-friendly incubator leveraging its ability to license tracks directly in high profile shows will dramatically boost an act's profile. This is a new breed, second to none career jump-starting opportunity. It's production music on steroids!"
While Extreme has expertise in shopping production music, Cuello said it is the Sony/ATV company's relationships with other networks and brands that will enable it to show the songs of HYPE artist for synch opportunities.
Beyond that, MTV will perform digital distribution for any music that HYPE connects with synchronization opportunities. HYPE and the artist will share revenues 50/50, Cuello says. That split holds for distribution too, and while that is above standard digital distribution fees that can range anywhere from 13% to 20%, the HYPE rate allows it to share in the revenue created by the synchronization opportunities. On the other hand, if HYPE distributes music from the artists that is not used in shows, it would be willing to negotiate more standard fees.
Finally, if HYPE efforts on behalf of artists leads to major label attention, artists "are unencumbered" by their HYPE deal. "We would love to get these artists signed" with labels, Cuello said.