Joe Harris asks:
Do you think that YouTube will play into the future of music at all? Could a true star ever come from it?
The new music industry paradigm is shrouded in the fog of showbiz. High speed Internet access, and online experiments are in a state of explosion, creating an ever expanding cyber-universe. Artists and entrepreneurs, seeking to build careers in The Music Renaissance, must address a myriad of possibilities. Most Internet ideas fail to monetize. Some will prevail long into the future. One that has proven itself to be a cornerstone in the new A&R process is the amazing YouTube.
As a young performer wanders the woods singing with the birds, he dreams of bringing mass audiences to tears with the beauty of his songs. He imagines his destiny, and immediately sets his mind on a quest to fulfill the dream. This creative process is driven by desire and fueled by discipline. The digital battle for supremacy will be fought in the ever expanding cyber-universe.
Created in 2005 and purchased by Google, Inc. two years later for $1.65 Billion, YouTube.com uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user generated content. Some major label content is available, but most music videos are uploaded by the artists themselves.
Anybody can watch, but only registered members are permitted to post an unlimited number of videos. Adult programming material encouraging violence or criminal conduct are prohibited.
Every serious artist already has a presence on YouTube. It has become a quick and easy method of presenting your act to prospective supporters. With a couple of clicks a talent buyer can quickly assess the artist he is being pitched by the guy on the phone. A quick link can instantly connect him to the artist's site where the information has been custom designed to close the deal.
YouTube was officially launched in November 2005. By July 2006 the company was receiving over 100 million video views per day. YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the world, making it the third most visited website on the Internet, behind Yahoo and Google. The cost of YouTube's bandwidth usage is estimated to be more than one million dollars per day.
The projected revenue for 2008 is two hundred million dollars. Considering their enormous that isn't very much. Eye-balls may be king, but profit rules, and the company is expanding aggressively into feature films and television programming that will be accompanied by advertisements. The move is intended to create competition with websites such as Hulu, which features material from NBC, Fox and Disney.
YouTube has often been criticized for failing to ensure that its online content honors existing copyright laws. Users are cautioned not to post material they do not own or control. Pirated material can be issued "takedown" orders under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Videos can be screened against data banks to determine if the intellectual property is protected.
Regardless of the source, or the competition, singers, musicians and bands can establish their acts online at any time. There is no charge and navigation is liquid and precise. Production values don't seem to matter. The simplest phone generated video of the right artist singing the right song could bring an act to instant global recognition. The hard part is turning notoriety into profit.