Is YouTube The New American Idol?

These days it seems like YouTube is becoming one of the biggest hubs for discovering talent. More and more musicians are getting their names out there by uploading videos to YouTube and crossing their fingers for success. Although not every wannabe star hits it big by showcasing themselves on YouTube the true talent shines through and a number of gifted stars have been discovered on YouTube and gone all the way with hit singles, record deals, tours, celebrity fans and more.

Justin Bieber is the current talk of the town when it comes to YouTube stardom. Justin was discovered on YouTube when his mother started posting videos of him singing at the age of 12 for his friends and family to see. Three years later he is one of the world’s youngest pop and R&B singers with his own album, music videos and celebrity friends and fans, including Usher and Taylor Swift. If not for YouTube, who knows where Justin would be today.

Justin Bieber isn’t the only YouTube singing success story. In 2007, thanks to YouTube, Pilipino singer-songwriter Arnel Pineda went from performing covers of Journey, Survivor, Led Zepplin, and Aerosmith songs to becoming the lead singer for Journey in less than a year! The band members of Journey asked Arnel to audition for them after seeing him sing in his YouTube videos. Other singers that have gone from unknown to famous because of YouTube include Esmee Denters, who was discovered by Justin Timberlake, Terra Naomi, Lisa Lavie, and Mia Rose.

American Idol started the phenomenon of searching for stars in the pool of everyday people in 2002, when the first season aired. Today many American Idol winners have topped the charts, spreading optimism to many singing hopefuls that they too could be famous one day. In recent years, YouTube has proven to introduce just as many stars to the music world as American Idol. As YouTube users view, comment and rate singers’ videos the diamonds in the rough are revealed and emerge to be discovered.

How do you feel about singers being discovered on YouTube? Do you think the site is a true measure of talent or are singers like Justin Bieber just the ones that got lucky?

Publish date: April 19, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT