MTV President Van Toffler yesterday announced the launch of Artists.MTV, a new site that would serve as a repository of artist pages, in a similar vein to MySpace.

A joint venture with “direct to fan” service Topspin Media, Artists.MTV will allow artists to create pages with custom content and widgets and sell music, tickets and merchandise, with Topspin getting a standard 15% take of all sales. MTV will take a cut from Topsin's share and presumably rely on ad revenue, an advantageous arrangement for artists major and independent.

“Artist pages exist as islands on the Internet,” Toffler said during a press conference at South by Southwest. “Maybe you learn about an artist on Pandora, then you see a video on YouTube or read about them on Wikipedia, then maybe you buy the song on iTunes. It’s a disparate experience. What we are trying to do is connect them through music discovery.

A beta version of the site is slated for a May release

[via New York Times]