YouTube began as a simple venture to share videos among friends. What started as a lucid idea has quickly grown into a venue for discovering a whole new wave of musicians. Acts such as Justin Bieber, Karmin, Boyce Avenue, and Greyson Chance have all achieved success because of their presence on the site. The question that comes into play is: How does YouTube affect pop music? How does it affect the consumer that was once driven by boy bands and the top singles on the radio? Is the music industry following suit with other industries, and the primary source of discovery is now online?
Pop music has been redefined by each generation since the creation of the genre in the 50’s, when rock’n’roll was considered the newest and most popular type of music. There are also definitions that suggest this genre of music is aimed at the time’s youth, which has also shifted over time from the 18-25 range to earlier generations who are as young as 10 years old.
Instead of being discovered at an open mic night at their local club or by record producers on the street, artists are being discovered online. Justin Bieber, for instance, has a massive following of all ages. He was found on YouTube from a video his parents posted of him singing, at the age of 12. Not quite the way the boy bands of the nineties found their way into the public eye.
The music industry now has a task of their own, to distinguish between the thousands of online videos and other content and decide whether talent exists. Products such as Studio In A Box give anyone the ability to be their own producer, pop star, or DJ. Even a simple video camera and microphone can earn you a place on the interwebs.
YouTube has made an obvious impact on our lives, whether we admit it or not. As a self proclaimed YouTube-aholic, it is rare I can go a day without seeing new videos, uploaded to channels to which I have subscribed. YouTube and those who are passionate about music and performing will continue to etch out their own piece of the web. Does it have a negative effect, or is it just another generation’s way of developing and defining the pop genre?