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9/20/2006
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YouTube Launches Best-Band Contest

The promotion, launched in conjunction with Cingular Wireless and ABC TV, is the latest example of YouTube's quest to align itself with mainstream media players while maintaining its maverick status as a pioneer social network for video sharing.

YouTube has teamed up with Cingular Wireless and ABC TV in launching on Wednesday a contest to find the best unsigned bands.

The promotions is the latest example of YouTube's quest to align itself with mainstream media players, while maintaining its maverick status as a pioneer social network for video sharing. The company this week announced a deal to distribute the music video library of Warner Music Group Corp. and share ad revenue.

In the contest, YouTube users will vote in choosing four bands that have either the best live performance, best music video, best song or is the most creative. Winners will have their video featured on mobile phones via Cingular, a chance to have their songs featured on the TV show Chop Shop, new equipment from guitar maker Gibson, a press junket Nov. 29 in New York, and an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America." Bands can submit videos of their work from Oct. 2 through Oct. 18.

YouTube has grown rapidly as a site for registered users to upload video and share it with friends or publicly. From January to June, the site grew 297 percent to a monthly unique audience of 19.6 million, according to Nielsen/NetRatings. YouTube, which has more than 100 million page views a day, is a favorite among teens and young adults.

The site, however, has come under fire by the entertainment industry for distributing music videos, TV shows and other copyrighted content uploaded by users. YouTube takes down such content when notified by the copyright holder.

Deals such as the one with Warner Music reflects how YouTube is trying to work with mainstream media companies to ensure that they are compensated for their content.

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