Is YouTube the new path to fame?

Story by Brian Roberts

If you took a poll of 100 Hollywood stars and asked them how they became famous, what answers would you expect to hear?

They might have gotten a lucky break.  Maybe they happened to be in the right place at the right time, and the right people saw them.  Maybe they worked their tail off from the ground up and reached out to the right people.

Or maybe they posted a couple videos on YouTube.   You see, YouTube is the new gold mine of talent.

You might say it started in early 2006, late 2007.  You could argue that it started in 2005, when YouTube was created.  Either way, you cannot argue with the fact that YouTube has become an absolute haven for talent.

Justin Bieber was discovered in 2007.  Glancing through videos online, Scooter Braun, an “American talent finder” saw one of Bieber’s covers.  Amazed and intrigued at the talent he saw, he decided to track down Bieber and eventually fly him to Atlanta.  There, Bieber recorded his first demo tapes.

The rest is history.

From this example alone, it is easy to see the beauty in such a site as YouTube.  Bieber didn’t have to go out of his way to be discovered.  He didn’t even have to leave his home.

By simply posting a video online on a site anyone could access, he was able to make a name for himself.  YouTube gave him that freedom.

It is not limited by age, gender, or even talent.  Anyone can post and literally anyone can watch.

And it’s not just Bieber who has benefited from this occurrence.  Although he may be the first name to come to mind, he is far from the only and will be far from the last.

In April 2010, Greyson Chance, at the time unknown, performed Lady Gaga’s song paparazzi at a sixth grade music festival.  The performance was later posted to YouTube and gained over 45 million views.

Chance was eventually signed to Ellen DeGeneres’ record label, eleveneleven, and his first official album “Hold On ‘til the Night” was very successful, reaching spot 29 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

Just like Bieber, Chance echoes the platform for success YouTube represents.

This platform shifted the unknown to known everywhere and followed suit in the case of Austin Mahone.

Mahone is a prime example of what YouTube can do for many reasons.

In less than a year, the fifteen-year-old singer has become a YouTube sensation.

With covers of popular songs like “Someone Like you” by Adele, “With You” by Chris Brown, and “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber, Mahone’s videos are getting hundreds of thousands of views and, in some cases, even millions.

Mahone, though, is the reason I wanted to write about YouTube in the first place.

Forget the millions of views; forget the fact that his cover of Bieber’s hit, “Mistletoe,” has gained more views than the original.

Mahone represents what is so good about YouTube in a very different way.

He represents the ability to communicate directly and face to face with others.

In the past, singers, actors and celebrities did not have this opportunity.  They simply didn’t have the platform, and this is why YouTube is so great and unique.

It provides an equal opportunity for everyone.

With a little bit of talent and a video camera in hand, you could be the next YouTube sensation.