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YouTube Show: America's Hot Musician Offered as a Free Syndicated Public Service Television Program

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Effort intended to promote instrumental music within The MTV- Hip Hop generation

America's Hot Musician, the new “American Idol"-like reality talent competition which features instrumental musicians, is being syndicated free to television stations in an effort to promote instrumental music within the MTV- Hip Hop Generation. The program, which is produced by the American Youth Symphony (AYS), a non-profit organization, is also being offered as a “Public Serrvice Announcement Program" to be classified as such at the discretion of television outlets. Episode 1 can be viewed on YouTube via the America's Hot Musician website.

The 12-episode, half-hour weekly show, which debuts Monday January 8, 2007, offers broadcast and cable affiliates and independent networks and stations 4 minutes of commercial space and the flexibility to air within their schedules.

American Youth Symphony's concept of distributing America's Hot Musician without charging licensing fees signifies a new paradigm in media distribution sparked by music file sharing websites at the turn of the century and extended by YouTube, which offers free video file sharing and was recently purchased by Google for 1.65 billion dollars.

“We see no reason why this concept should not extend to television as well," says AYS Executive Director Susan Veres.

Equally innovative is AYS's concept of “Public Service Announcement Programming" (PSA Programming). AYS's non-profit status coupled with the program's social benefit could meet the FCC definition of a Public Service Announcement which is defined as “any announcement which no charge is made ... and which promotes the programs, activities or services of non-profit organizations ... and other announcements regarded as serving community interests."

“We have a family-oriented, entertaining program, doing something positive to promote the dying art of instrumental performance, which is given to stations who can financially benefit by inserting four minutes of their own commercial advertisements. It's a no-brainer," says creator, judge and Duke Ellington Orchestra alum Gregory Charles Royal.

The upbeat program was created by Royal and AYS as part of its Plight of American Music Initiative to provide instrumental musicians the same outlet that is afforded vocalists and rappers in other popular shows such as American Idol. Royal, who inserts a variety of comments throughout the show similar to VH1's program WebJunk, says the future of instrumental forms like jazz and the symphony are dependant upon future interest by the MTV-Hip Hop generation who have been “brought up on a steady diet of electronic sounds." Many young people, now associate the terms “musicians" and “music" with producers such as P.Diddy and computerized drum loops.

The season takes musicians through the first and second rounds in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Washington DC and then chronicles the ten semi-finalists in Washington, DC in a “Real-World"-like scenario where the musicians live together while they compete in the semi-final and final rounds.

Topics on the social importance of instrumental music are also debated throughout the season as the show struggles with the need to promote musicianship versus the need to present an identifiable image that young consumers can relate to.

The first episode of the show is now available to the public, programmers and sponsors on YouTube.com. The remaining episodes will become available on YouTube.com on a weekly basis beginning January 8, 2007. Public voting begins mid-season and the YouTube and televised episodes will be coordinated.

To view Episode #1 of America's Hot Musician, or for syndication information, please click on the link below.

This story appears courtesy of All About Jazz Publicity.
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