Getting a music video played on MTV is a complex process and can be difficult for independent artists with no record label or promotional team to support them. MTV does not play music videos on their network very often anymore, but MTV2 still does occasionally. The network has a vast music video library on their website, so submitting a video for consideration is still a practical and viable way to gain exposure for your music. Before sending your video off to MTV, you will need to prepare a proper submission package.
Make your first contact with MTV through e-mail. You can submit a general inquiry by way of the email address found on the MTV website, or send an e-mail directly to MTV's manager of music programming, or director of music programming. Further contact information for MTV staff can also be found on the website. Be sure to be clear about your intentions in your subject line and e-mail and include a link to your band or artist's online profile. Either of these contacts will most likely send you a submissions package. including a submission form and video format requirements.
Read all instructions carefully and fill out the submissions form fully and accurately. Be sure your video matches the format specifications outlined in the submissions package, and that you include full contact information (phone number, e-mail, mailing address and ideally fax number) for a designated publicity contact. If you are an independent artist, this will probably be yourself.
Write a bio and hype sheet. These should be no more than a page each. Your bio should describe your music career, and it should highlight any accomplishments, such as awards, press coverage, recognition and major performances you have been involved in. For example, if you opened for a major recording artist at a show in your city, be sure to include this in your bio. Your hype sheet should be a catchy press release-type document explaining why your video should be on MTV. The lead will be the most important part of this document, as it needs to sell the music programming department on your video immediately. Make sure it stands out.
Submit your package. You may be able to submit all information digitally to one of the e-mail addresses you contacted, or you may have to mail hardcopies to MTV headquarters in New York. If you are submitting your video digitally, make sure it and all accompanying documents, like the form, your bio and hype sheet, are in the correct format so that the staff at MTV can view them without problems.
Wait for a confirmation. Once you have submitted your video, there is nothing left to do but wait to see if MTV will accept and play it. You will likely receive a confirmation of receipt, and later either a notice of acceptance or rejection from the studio. Not every video submitted to MTV is played, but it is always worth a shot, and participating in the submissions process is at the very least valuable experience in the workings of the music and promotion industry.
Jennifer Reynolds is a professional writer covering crafting, electronics and entertainment topics. She graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing from York University.