MMVMusic Meets Video, a new user generated content platform for emerging music artists, launched this week in Austin.

The startup has partnered with We Are the Hits, a leading music publisher, that allows it to host content from Universal Music, Sony/ATV, Warner/Chappelle and Kobalt Music Group’s song catalogs with more than six million hit songs.

Music Meets Video lets musicians cover songs by popular and emerging artists, then compete in head-to-head, fan-voted contests, with significant cash prizes. It’s kind of like American Idol on a small screen. The idea springs from singers and musicians posting videos to YouTube. Sometimes those videos end up generating a lot of buzz and a huge fan base that can springboard a career. Music Meets Video’s contests provide cash prizes and exposure for emerging artists as well as sponsorship opportunities for brands and record labels.

“Landing this partnership is a watershed moment for our company,” Alex Mitchell, co-founder and creator of Music Meets Video, said in a news release. “The volume of songs we have publishing rights to is astounding and we can use this large catalog to launch innovative contests that will be beneficial to our users and our contest sponsors. The most significant value of the partnership is the ease of mind we can pass on to our sponsors and users who are confused about what they can and cannot do with cover videos online. Any content on Music Meets Video has clearance from the top music publishers in the world.”

Since launching its beta of MMV in March 2015, it has already created 20 contests serving up 2.5 million votes, 5.5 million video views, and provided independent music artists with over $25,000 in cash prizes to fund and further their careers.

“We have found a way to successfully serve three very big markets,” Luis Berga, co-founder of Music Meets Video, said in a news release. “Our contests help the artists who make up 100 million cover videos currently up on YouTube have a platform to get exposure and be discovered. We also help record labels discover new talent, and offer the $65 billion digital marketing industry (per Statista) a new, unique and affordable way to reach target customers.”

Music Meet Video is based at Capital Factory in downtown Austin and is part of its accelerator program.

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