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Not Sure We Should Count this as “Internet Breakthrough Artist” September 6, 2007

Posted by David Card in Media.
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This isn’t evil; it’s smart. I dunno why Hollywood Records felt it had to lay so low. I guess that’s “authentic?”

    (Mari) Digby’s simple, homemade music videos of her performing popular songs have been viewed more than 2.3 million times on YouTube. Her acoustic-guitar rendition of the R&B hit “Umbrella” has been featured on MTV’s program “The Hills” and is played regularly on radio stations in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Portland, Ore. Capping the frenzy, a press release last week from Walt Disney Co.’s Hollywood Records label declared: “Breakthrough YouTube Phenomenon Mari Digby Signs With Hollywood Records.”
    What the release failed to mention is that Hollywood Records signed Ms. Digby in 2005, 18 months before she became a YouTube phenomenon. Hollywood Records helped devise her Internet strategy, consulted with her on the type of songs she chose to post, and distributed a high-quality studio recording of “Umbrella” to iTunes and radio stations.

Interesting bit — early on, she posted covers of big hits because she knew no one would search on her own name. Hint to budding pop stars: cover Rihanna. And Hollywood Records did, ahem, use traditional radio for critical mass ignition.

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