Talent Online – Virality Drives Success

A talented performer making it big. Yeah, no surprise that. But internet virality, elevating one to the status of a phenomenon in little time, that’s what the internet has become about. We’ve heard the story more than once in recent times, and Web 2.0 has been nothing short of a boon for bringing talent to the fore.

Not so long ago, we saw the rise of pop singer, Colbie Caillat. After a couple of failed attempts on the reality TV show – American Idol she went on to upload videos of herself on MySpace, and before she knew it, she had a major fan base online.  A Universal Record contract was soon in the offing leading to a record-breaking solo career as well as collaborations with the likes of Jason Mraz and Taylor Swift.

Extending online discovery to genres like comedy, we’ve seen the likes of Brooke Brodack a.k.a Brookers who rose to stardom on the WWW with a host of online videos that popularized her. In 2005, a 20-year old Brooke began to post comic videos of herself in the name of “Brookers” and by 2006 she was the most subscribed comedian on YouTube. Her most popular video – Crazed Numa Fan!!!!, brought her instant success and soon she had her own YouTube channel with over 50 million views to her credit. Since then she has collaborated with various artists and comedians.

This successful trend of posting material online has got people making videos of themselves and uploading them by the dozen. However, talent backed with perseverance, is a must to make it big – which I shall focus on in my next post.

So go on, leave your thoughts, feedback and I’ll soon get back to you about it.

-Aparna
H’Appy Tallenger

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11 thoughts on “Talent Online – Virality Drives Success

  1. Prerna says:

    It seems it’s golden period for the amateur, budding artists online. Rise and shine people!

  2. Lohith says:

    Good read again. Just to support the discussion, don’t know if you know this but one of the legendary rock bands Journey found their current vocalist through a Youtube video he had posted. When the lead vocalist Steve Perry quit the band, rest of the guys started hunting down for a good replacement and it was a task. The fan video made by a guy in Philippines got the attention of right guys and he made it big. His name is Arnel Pineda.

    • Aparna Rao says:

      Thanks Lohith, it’s quite heartening to know that metal music is finding newer talents this way as well. With YouTube we’ll soon have so much to thank for! This works way better too, given how it allows fans/aspiring artists to directly get in contact with bands and musicians alike!
      Valuable information indeed!🙂

  3. Making a video go viral is an unpredictable science. It would be something if marketeers can pin it down to an exact science. How Rebecca Black, Colbie Caillat, and Kolaveri Di get so many eyeballs is still a mystery. Maybe it is worth looking at that ….. just a thought.

    • Aparna Rao says:

      Thanks Nikhilesh! And yes, it’s rather unpredictable at the moment. It’s also all about content and marketing that well. With Kolaveri Di, what we see is a good mix of two elements; Musical content which is quite niche to southern parts of India, and secondly marketing it to the rest of the country and in this case the world. Content truly is the king here!Of course, if there was an exact formula involved, people all over the world would be cashing in on it at the moment!🙂

  4. Sruts says:

    Good food for discussion🙂 To add to it, what about virality that doesn’t go hand in hand with talent?

    • Aparna Rao says:

      That is quite an interesting point Sruts. Talent itself is a large word and hence sensitive to subjectivity. Also, it is quite unfortunate when a deserving artist doesn’t get his/her due, which is why marketing it well is a necessity in today’s world – which is where I think the online medium works for the cause. However, some other times, there is a lot of hype that is generated despite the lack of talent, but such cases die a sudden death, because audience’s memories are short-lived and today making a impact is not sufficient, because while there are plenty of one hit wonders, what an artist must focus on is to be able to build a growing memory with viewers.
      Thanks for your thoughts Sruts!🙂

      • Sruts says:

        Call it co-incidence, or not, but I’m attending a technology conference and one of the sessions I went to today was about ‘Creating Viral Websites’. The speaker was Emerson Spartz, the man behind MuggleNet. He mainly focused on the technical aspects aspects of virality and its impact in society, but he had some interesting points. He zeroed in on content that goes viral: facts, jokes and quotes. Why it goes viral though, is simply attributed to human nature. http://johnpolacek.com/2012/06/23/techweek-day-2/

  5. ekarao says:

    It is a great read Aparna. I agree with Sruts. Viral videos that have nothing to do with talent would be a good topic for discussion.

    • Aparna Rao says:

      Yes, ekarao, I must say I agree, which is why I think the best combination is – talent + virality; it makes for a highly successful combination!🙂
      And thanks for your thought!

  6. Sanjeev Rao says:

    Nice read Aparna. Its interesting how the band Walk off the Earth is the first thing that comes to mind when I read this blog. They literally exploited YouTube to leave everyone wanting for more.( I can’t imagine the number of practice sessions they had to do to get their act together) And social media gives that (crucial) window of opportunity to such budding talents. May be the idea of what becomes a trend is, like what Nikhilesh said, a mystery. May be that ought to be a whole new topic of discussion in this blog. It’ll be interesting to find out what makes them ‘click’.

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