MTV: Is it really still worth the hype?

The network is hoping to make comeback in the digital world.

Candice Wheeler


MTV has aired a lot of boob-tube BS since their “TRL” glory days. As more fans shift to the Internet, the acclaimed “music” television network’s success continues to have nothing to do with music — it hasn’t since the ’90s. Mind-numbing reality shows have swiped screen time, and the powerhouse network is now looking to the World Wide Web to get right with today’s music scene.

MTV is hoping to build upon its 60 million online fans with Artists.MTV, a music hub designed to help build a fan-base for new artists — and most importantly, get them paid. Artists can generate revenue by selling CDs, audio and digital downloads, merchandise and concert tickets.

After the site’s launch this May, one artist a month will receive a promotional spot on MTV or any of its sister networks, including VH1 and CMT. Their music may also be featured on MTV shows, which gives them exposure, even if they’re far from a fist-pumping “Jersey Shore” fanatic. Not that I was one of them, but  “Jersey Shore” reeled in over 7 million viewers for their season five premiere alone.

It seems like anyone with talent and some luck could land a gig through the deal, but I’m still skeptical. Minnesota musician Greg Johnson promotes his band Corporal Hart though social media and sites like SoundCloud and RootMusic, which can essentially give artists the same promotional boost MTV promises, but does so free of charge. Artists.MTV claims 15 percent commission on digital sales and tickets.

“Bands like me who feel a subtle hostility towards music industry fat-cat types like MTV, know that whomever is in charge couldn’t give a damn about the music itself,” Johnson said. “It’s just what could make the most money in the shortest amount of time.”

I dig the fact that MTV’s whole edge is to get unknown artists discovered; if they can refrain from getting a big head, anything that gets me less “Teen Mom” and more music.