Justin Bieber. Esmee Denters. American Idol. The Voice. The past decade has made two things about the music industry crystal clear: the Internet is a great way to discover talent (Denters is signed with Justin Timberlake’s label, Tennman Records), and the public wants to have a hand in who makes it big. Chartburst is working to bring the two together.
A new online music community, Chartburst is a startup company that has the goal of connecting unsigned talent with major record labels. The founders of Chartburst, Francis and Laurie Gane, run a recording studio of their own in the U.K. and understand as well as anyone that not everyone can get noticed, no matter how good they are.
Chartburst is trying to provide a one-stop music platform that allows fans to discover new, upcoming music, and allows talent to be discovered. Users of the site can log into the online community and vote for their favorite tracks, while discovering fresh, new music.
The tracks can rise up the Chartburst chart, with the top 5 tracks/artists being forwarded to connections within the music industry every 2 weeks for review. Artists that make it into the top 5 and are granted a review will get email feedback from the record label A&R, scouts, within a few weeks.
The site has nine genre-specific charts, in addition to the overall chart on the homepage, which are monitored by different record labels. The record labels that are partnering up with Chartburst in this talent-finding venture include Universal, Warner Music Group, and Interscope Records, to name a few.
Musicians can sign-up with Chartburst for $5 per month, which allows them to upload up to 2 tracks per month (but only 1 track can be on the charts at a time). Listeners and fans can sign-up with Chartburst for free, which allows them an unlimited amount of free listening and voting on tracks (you can only vote for each track once, however, and you must be signed into the service in order to vote).
Is Chartburst worth it for musicians? From our perspective, $5 per month seems like a steal if you’re able to get your track into the top 5, and a guaranteed review by a scout. The creators of the site definitely have some industry experience, with Laurie Gane having played with both The Yardbirds and Eric Clapton, so maybe they’ll have just the right combination of industry connections and user input. Plus, if you’re able to get enough of your family, friends, and general public to hype your tracks, you could get discovered in any other number of ways.
Chartburst is currently still in beta mode, but it could become an interesting new entrant in the online music industry. MySpace, more of a pioneer in the online music market, has recently revamped itself in an attempt to emerge from the obscurity that has befallen it since Facebook and Twitter. And don’t forget about SoundCloud, an already very popular music self-publishing platform.
The ease with which the Internet allows artists to distribute their work has created a flood of new content, which makes it that much more difficult to get noticed in the clutter. Perhaps Chartburst can ease the path to discovery.