Jacobs Media's Eric Holmes weighs in on finding new music:
For those who may not know, Justin Timberlake just started his own record label. Esmee Denters was the first artist signed to Justin’s label, a talented young female singer who has built up a fan base singing on YouTube, and is now opening for him in Europe. A girl that liked singing in her bedroom signs a major record deal based off her YouTube videos.
Of course, bands can post songs on their MySpace page, but to build a big enough following online, from online-only fans who comment online how much they like you is…absolutely amazing. Simply put, Justin Timberlake is giving the people what they want.
As a music director and former DJ, I pride myself on knowing what people are going to want to listen to, and I think I’m damn good at it. A lot of MDs and A&R guys would probably say the same thing. But what is the value of a good ear versus the consumer’s opinion? MySpace and YouTube can already localize each personal page to the site of the user. We can only hope they make the information available for each city that allows us to see the most listened to bands.
I can’t help but think how many great bands have been passed up over the years because those of us with “great ears” never found or appreciated them. Until the last couple of years, the only bands we were exposed to were the ones that were bought and then sold to us. Now with the power of the Internet, the process has become democratic and organic.
The Internet is leveling the playing field and giving bands/artists that might not have the resources, or live in a major city, or know what they’re doing, a legitimate shot to make it. That is damn cool, and I hate to say it but I might just be becoming a Justin Timberlake fan now. So still use your “great ears,” but maybe there’s a diamond in the rough staring at you on your computer screen. Why not give it a shot? Your listeners are.