So is this how you break an act in the streaming age?
“It’s the people, not the music industry, who discovers new talents.”
This is the arguable premise behind the creation of The Stream, a new TV music talent show in Norway which claims to “reflect how the music industry works today” – and is associated with all three major labels and Spotify.
The Stream, created by Nordic World, says it will “find and develop the next big artist”, mentioning Kygo, Justin Bieber and Adele as examples of acts who all “started on the internet”.
The soon-to-launch show is encouraging would-be participants to upload video recordings of themselves performing “in front of a phone or computer” to its website.
From there, the Top 100 most-streamed artists on the site go through to perform auditions in front of “A&Rs from the three biggest record companies in the world”.
That’s Universal, Sony and Warner to you – and here’s what they look like.
These A&Rs then pick their favourite acts.
They will begin by choosing 40 artists to work with behind-the-scenes, from which three per label (a total of nine) will be selected to perform on The Stream.
Every one of these nine contestants will also receive a firm record contract from one of Universal, Sony and Warner (singles deals, presumably, for the run of the show).
Here’s where things get a bit different from X Factor or American Idol.
These “lucky few” artists perform live on the show, and their tracks are immediately released on Spotify at the end of each episode.
The most streamed artists on Spotify stay in the competition, and the least streamed artist risks eviction.
“In the end, the most streamed artist has the chance to win The Stream,” explains the voiceover to a trailer which you can watch through here.
The company behind the show says: “In a new era that demands new stars, The Stream takes talent shows to the next level and speaks the language of our generation.”
Some in the industry will certainly see The Stream as a better reflection of modern pop A&R than the soap-drama of Simon Cowell’s shows.
Others may see it as conclusive evidence of a fresh circle of hell.
[H/t to Scandipop]Music Business Worldwide