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Local Musicians Hoping To Become Stars One Click At A Time

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BOSTON (CBS) – Becoming a star in the music industry today takes more than just talent as a singer or musician.

Some of today’s biggest starts launched their careers with a big dose of buzz on the Internet.

The Berklee College of Music is helping its students learn how to use social media to get their careers off the ground.

Lyle Shaw of Charlton is one of their talented students and he wants to share his band’s music with the world.

“DC Wonder” has its own YouTube channel which features music videos that were made on a shoestring.

A recent video cost them only about $500, but looks surprisingly professional.

“I feel like you give the illusion that you are bigger than you are, and then that’s how you gain buzz, because it is all about the Internet buzz,” said Shaw.

Fellow Berklee student Ben Meyers has helped many friends polish their online look.

“This digital way of discovering people is definitely the future,” he told WBZ-TV.

A recent success story involves the duo Karmin, both whom attended Berklee.

They are now an Internet sensation with some of their videos recording more than 80 million views.

Stephanie Kellar, a Berklee professor specializing in the business of the music industry, says Karmin’s success was no accident.

“They were using a cover-discover strategy, so you cover a popular artist’s tune because then you can legitimately use those search engine tags to draw attention to your video,” explained Kellar.

For example, Karmin recorded the Katy Perry hit “Teenage Dream.”

Their hope was that a fan would do an Internet search and see both versions and then give them a try.

“They also uploaded a number of original songs, so the strategy was to draw attention via covers and then convert those fans to their original music,” added Kellar.

To get noticed on YouTube, musicians have to think like marketers.

“What is search engine optimization? How do you do a keyword efficiency index? These are simple methods that can help you promote yourself and the whole point is to come up on the first page of the search, whether it’s YouTube or whether it’s Google,” said Kellar.

This trend is changing the music industry, according to Kellar. “Individuals have more power than they have ever had before.”

That’s exciting for young musicians, but it’s also a little scary. Everything has to be done just right.

“Even if you are an incredible musician, you can sit in practice rooms and practice for 8 hours a day then find yourself with 10 views on YouTube, because you really didn’t understand,” said Meyers.

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