Jul 22, 2010

The New YouTube Superstar: Music DJ

Today, YouTube launched a redesign to their music page that emphasizes playlists and rising popular tracks.

photo credit YouTube

Listening to music via YouTube has been the solid trend for a long, long while now, but it seems like the media (and the web platforms themselves) are only starting to make use of this. The rumors of iTunes in the cloud have been running like crazy for the last two years, Google's confirmed they're getting ready to sell music, and what's helped keep MySpace afloat so long is their solid music player (which Facebook still hasn't even tried to compete with), and Pandora has been the number one utility app on the iPhone since the App store launched. Music will finally be as mobile as broadcast radio once and for all.

YouTube has, for the last 4 years, built its empire off the backs of video bloggers. I've theorized before that YouTube, as a company, is trying to gently shift the spotlight away from its community of amateur-producers and toward professional "good-quality" producers: renting TV shows, films, livestreaming concerts, etc. They're not shunning their community by any means, but rather taking advantage of and improving upon how their users are naturally using their product. So when I see YouTube updating their music pages in favor of their music producers, I think there's a tremendous amount of opportunity for users to become new power-users- by becoming YouTube DJ's.

When I went to college, I was a DJ at the school radio station, SCADRadio, which still is strictly an online-only stream. Ignoring the ultra-indie artists who have only a handful of self-printed CD's, an online-only DJ could create their music set entirely using playlists from video tracks.

I created this playlist quickly because it was the only mix I had on this computer, and except for some Vevo uploads that have a pre-roll ad, each song plays one-after-the-other automatically in a pre-determined order. So long as you have quick bandwidth, it should suffice. Record a quick intro from your webcam that you throw into the mix, and you've got your weekly set. Embed the playlist into Blogger and you've got an RSS people can subscribe to. Playlists can be played off m.youtube.com, so you can tune in from your iPhone, just like a podcast. 100% free, 100% legal, and 100% self-branded to build your audience around.

So long as you're a good DJ.