News: YouTube just keeps on announcing major initiatives. It just announced a deal with Cingular and ABC to set up a competition for unknown, unsigned musical talent on YouTube. Bands will be able to send videos of themselves performing for the competition from October 2 through 18. Then, people can vote for their favorites and the finalists will appear on “Goodmorning, America” for the finals. (More from Reuters.) If you have a band and want to enter, more about YouTube Underground can be found here.
Analysis: Great idea. I love it. One of the appeals of the mega-hit show American Idol is that it discovers unknown talent from all parts of the United States, even from remote locations like Checotah, Oklahoma, the home of Carrie Underwood. YouTube Underground is even more grassroots in its search for unknown talent because the people apparently will be able to select the contestants from the start, unlike the early selection process in American Idol by three judges.