It's no secret that MySpace can be a great place for artists to launch their careers. But MySpace Music is now formalizing the process, flexing its promotional muscles with a new program designed to champion five artists every three months called "Introducing."
Acts selected to participate will benefit from a variety of promotional assistance both online and offline. This includes premiering new music on the MySpace Music homepage, featuring playlists created by participating artists, video premiers, behind-the-scene footage and interviews, MySpace Secret Shows, and a special Introducing page on MySpace dedicated to whatever artists are being highlighted at the time.
Warner Brother Records act Lights was the test-subject for the new initiative, and has now expanded to include artists Sherwood, We the Kings, Kid Sister and Serena Ryder. All will enjoy a 12-week promotional push across the MySpace platform, with the specific activities varying by artist based on release dates, touring schedule and etc.
While MySpace has engaged in these types of promotional activities for bands in the past, this is the first time it's compiled them into a formal program with a set timeline and planned outreach to labels. According to Warner Brothers senior VP of new media Jeremy Welt, who oversaw the Lights initiative, the program is a welcome addition.
"We all hear about these stories about artists breaking on MySpace, and it's always something that just happens," he says. "How great would it be if we worked together to make that happen with a coordinated plan?"
According to both Welt and MySpace sources, there's no pre-defined way to determine which artists are chosen for the program. MySpace generally looks for artists that are already using MySpace in a very hands-on way, while labels can offer suggestions or insight into their emerging act priorities.
Welt says that although MySpace has lost momentum in recent years to rival Facebook, the social networking site remains one of the best music promotional platforms on the Web, and expects the Introducing program to cement that reputation even further.
"MySpace plays so much music to so many people that it starts to feel like a gigantic national radio station," he says. "When they put something on the homepage, we see the impact on the iTunes charts throughout the day... The power to move enough people to see the iTunes charts affected, that doesn't happen with too many sites out there."