Performances on major TV networks used to be reserved for the most well-known bands around the world. Today, aspiring musicians get this coveted exposure simply by entering the world of competitive reality shows.
This break-the-next-big-act trend on television is getting some competition of its own from the world wide web. The Internet keeps up with these contests by offering career-altering prizes to its winners around the globe.
Reality television is often segmented by countries, but online competitions are increasingly going international. Take the new "48 Music Project." Musicians from any country can take part in the challenge, which gives them the chance to land a contract with a "major record company in L.A." (name not yet announced) -- plus $10,000 in cash and prizes.
The challenge is creating an original song within 48 hours. When you officially log in to start, you're given a randomly-generated theme and golden keyword or phrase to follow in the song. The song has to be in English and span between two to four minutes.
"There is pressure, but creative minds can exceed their expectations under these conditions," says co-executive producer, Chris Siametis. The 48 series has been used for aspiring filmmakers as well. The 48 Film Project is a popular short film competition. The executive producer and founder of the contest is Francesco Vitali, who heads up 48 Projects Inc.
For this particular contest, the top 15 song contestants get a chance to perform in Hollywood in front of a music-industry heavy audience.
The contest runs until November 15, 2014 and costs $150 to enter.