Van Toffler, the President of MTV Networks Music Group, announced during his keynote speech at the Billboard Music & Money Symposium that MTV has partnered with OurStage.com to develop an array of promotional initiatives for emerging talent. OurStage’s fan voting platform will be used to discover artists for showcasing across on air and online MTV properties. The plan is “Needle in the Haystack” where each week MTV will spotlight an emerging artist from OurStage. The artists will be interviewed by MTV Music bloggers and promoted as an “artist to watch” across MTV’s sites and social network channels.
OurStage works by having fans compare one song or video to another and then choosing which song they liked more and by how much. The judging system randomizes all entries so that fans have no way of knowing or controlling who they judge. This system eliminates cheaters and the best performers are driven to the top by fans.
By partnering with MTV, each vote on OurStage becomes significantly more powerful and the opportunities for the artists that are voted the best are greater than ever. MTV averages 150-200 music cues daily in their current programming and has 600 music video hours on TV each week not to mention online music video programming, mobile music apps, and music video games like Rock Band. With MTV’s scope combined with OurStage’s unique voting platform, unknown artists from every genre could quickly become household names.