OurStage.com is a place where independent music artists attempt to get noticed, and where people looking for a reprieve from the mainstream can find bands that “no one else” knows about yet.  In partnership with MTV, the site offers competitions and instant visitor feedback so that these artists can figure out what’s working and what’s not, and reach a wide audience unique to the internet.  Now, the site has created a web series called The OurStage Panel, which premiered today and offers selected artists feedback from the pros: former and current executives, agents, and producers who can give them honest critiques about their music.  And oh yeah, it’s a competition.

Introducing the Pros of The OurStage Panel

The series is hosted by OurStage founder and CEO Ben Campbell, and the panel is made up of a diverse group of people from various sections of the music industry, individuals that collectively make up nearly every decision-making part of the process.

It includes:

  • Bruce Tyler, who worked as Executive Vice President of Sony Music and Columbia Records
  • Jason Ienner, former manager of The Fray and current manager of Hot Chelle Rae
  • Lee Dannay, Vice President of A & R, Warner/Chappell Music
  • Mitchell Stuart, an Emmy winner who is the owner and Creative Director of HQ Productions
  • Sharon Dastur, Program Director of Z100 in New York City

Each episode will feature 4 artists picked by the fans, and at the end of the show, one of them will be voted into the finals, where they will have the chance to win a professionally-produced video, $5,000, and be mentored by industry professionals.

The program is set up kind of like the old “At the Movies” show started by Siskel & Ebert.  A band comes on, introduces themselves and their song, and it plays to give enough of an impression.  Then the panel talks about whether the song or the band has a chance to make it.  Obviously, there is some disagreement amongst the professionals, but I’m sure many of these artists will take the good with the bad.

I like how the show sets up each artist and then during the song, the frame splits up into three sections: one with images/videos of the band, one of the panel listening to the song, and another section where facts and tidbits about the band pop up.  You can tell whether the panel is grooving or not grooving to a song immediately, and it’s not really a surprise what artist they pick at the end of episode 1.  Another nice touch: they use that artist’s winning song during the credits.

Check it out:

The OurStage Panel Isn’t All About Competition

This is an excellent program.  I’m glad this show isn’t set up where the competition seems to matter more than anything else.  This looks like a show that is dedicated more to the feedback than “who’s better,” which I might have turned off immediately had that been the case.  Those type of shows are high on histrionics.  This is informative and it may lead you to your new favorite band.  Give it a look.