EMI Music seeks new Bieber

A new platform that serves up ad opps allows hopeful musicians to create their own mobile site and post their stuff online.

Emi Music Canada launched a new mobile platform where amateur artists can post their music digitally and send fans SMS news alerts.

Called the Mobile Artist (MOA), and debuted at Canadian Music Week in Toronto last weekend, the new site MOArtist.com allows young musicians to compete for a chance to have their single released and produced for radio by the label. The competition runs for nine months, with five finalists chosen every three months who will be part of a special, 15-track EMI digital compilation.

Advertisers can post web banner ads on both the individual artists’ mobile fan pages, as well as on EMI’s main register site, MOArtist.com. The banner CPM is $8, with email and SMS links negotiable according to advertiser needs, says Joel Urnom, director of mobile marketing, EMI Music Canada. Current sponsors include HMV and Lavalife.

‘Technology has changed the music industry a great deal. But two things that haven’t changed are the fact that artists are looking to get signed, and labels – in this particular case EMI – are always looking to sign talent,’ Urnom tells MiC. ‘Every year on American Idol in every city you have 10,000 kids signing up to audition. So there’s a demand,’ he says, of their target 16-and-up age group. ‘You had (Justin) Bieber do it, you had Drake do it, why can’t there be someone else?’

MOA is different from MySpace, which is used by amateur artists to promote their music, because it was built to work on, and engage fans on, all devices, Urnom says. It is accessible on 6,000 phone models and allows the uploader to track profile activity and see what has a direct impact on their overall rating.

EMI is promoting the launch, an international first for the label, in HMV stores with bag stuffers, through social networking on its website. The label hopes to have about 1,500 active members on MOA.

‘Record labels are known as giant dinosaurs,’ says Urnom. ‘Why not use some of the technology that’s out there today to benefit themselves? I think it’s about time that something like this has come out and I think people are ready for it now.’