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There’s a subtle difference between being famous and being internet famous.
Entertainer Paula Abdul, at one point a judge on the hit talent-seeking show American Idol, has decided that there aren’t enough ways to become famous in the traditional sense. So she’s launching a new startup that will help young up-and-coming stars find talent agents and gigs.
The service, called AuditionBooth, lets users upload videos and other forms of media displaying their talents and abilities. Prospective performers can search through open auditions and other gigs, fire away a quick resumé and a few close-ups and hope for the best. The site’s free to use, but will charge users an extra $12 a month to get access to earlier auditions and a few other premium services.
It’s not for people looking to become internet famous, mind you — that’s what YouTube and other video sharing sites are for. If you’re confused, don’t worry: that’s why VentureBeat is here. Internet famous celebrities usually pop up on YouTube and other video-sharing sites after doing something noteworthy. Here are some examples of stars that are “regular” famous and “Internet” famous, just to show the difference between the two.
MC Hammer — not Internet famous. MC Hammer is famous in the traditional sense for his entrepreneurial strategies and musical skills. In his early days, MC Hammer would be a good target for AuditionBooth.
Star Wars Kid — Internet famous for the crazy antics he filmed and threw up on YouTube.
Carol Bartz — traditionally famous for being the CEO of Yahoo (though her propensity to fire from the hip has made her Internet famous.)
Chris Crocker — Internet famous for his nigh-absurd appeals to leave pop star Britney Spears “alone!”
Abdul is hoping to attract a pretty specific audience with this venture into the startup world. She has some pretty high aspirations, as well — Abdul and her crew expect to have 125,000 paying customers by the end of next year, and a few more than 600,000 subscribers total.
Abdul plans to stay on the creative side for the most part, but she is investing some serious cash into the company. AuditionBooth’s investors include Abdul, Celli, Infusion founder and CEO Greg Brill and Conundrum Capital Partners. They have invested around $4 million into the startup so far.
Musicians and artists like Abdul have certainly seen some success when taking a crack at the entrepreneurial space. Hip-hop star MC Hammer is actually an accomplished entrepreneur. Hammer has offered ministerial advice to entrepreneurs in the past at events such as the Intel Capital annual dinner. He has his own music label and runs strategy at startup DanceJam.com, funded by SoftBank and Rustic Canyon Ventures.
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