Wait, MTV Is Launching a Site About Music?

It’s been a long time since MTV was known primarily for music.

“The day that you play me/ It’ll be the same day MTV played videos/ That was a little joke/ Voilà!” raps Kanye West on his latest album.

But today the venerable arbiter of pop culture launched a new site that hopes to help users discover new music.

The MTV Music Meter tracks conversations on social networks and surfaces the artists who are generating the most conversation online.

Instead of showing the most popular artists, like Lady GaGa, the list will represent less well known bands who are gaining in momentum.

“This list is a pure hotness list,” Shannon Connolly, Vice President of Digital Music Strategy at MTV said in an interview with Wired.com. “We are intentionally presenting artists to the user that are high-ranking in velocity.”

Ignoring the cheese factor of phrases like “pure hotness,” the site does seem to have some promise. It taps into the real-time conversation and makes it easy to share music across social networks, two key elements of the contemporary web. 

Right now the site only provides 30-second samples, but MTV is working with Rhapsody to license full-length songs. If that happens, the site could easily become a popular, slightly corporate version of the contemporary music blog.

bpopper@observer.com | @benpopper Wait, MTV Is Launching a Site About Music?