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MTV Gets Back Into Music Recommendation With ‘Soundtrack’; Rhapsody To Handle Download Sales

imageMTV Networks (NYSE: VIA), now better known for creating series like The Hills than bringing the world the next Thriller video, is launching a new social net site tomorrow called Soundtrack. The company previewed the site at a small briefing in a plush, living room-like setting at its offices in the Viacom building Tuesday afternoon. While executives sought to avoid any comparisons to MySpace Music or, the main point of differentiation is that the song and artist selections on the site are based largely on tunes used within shows on the cable net.

MTV JV Rhapsody America plans to start selling songs for download to own through Soundtrack next month. Asked if the site is going more for promotional or as a direct revenue source to sell music, Brian Graden, president of entertainment, MTV Networks Music Group, emphasized that the site will remain in beta for some months, adding “We want to see how the site is used first before we make any determinations.” The same goes for whether the site will be ad supported, said Amy Doyle, SVP of Music & Talent for the network, adding that the company will consider advertising further down the road.

In the meantime, David Saslow, SVP Video Content, Production, & Programming for Atlantic Records, told me that so far he’s impressed with the site and does expect to see it yield actual sales. Saslow: “I do think it will impact sales. We noticed immediate results with our new act, Carolina Liar, after songs were used on The Hills last season. There was a listing on of the songs + scenes used in the show. This site is that idea on steroids.” More on Soundtrack’s features after the jump.

Some of Soundtrack’s features include:

— A music discovery