Youku and Universal Music Pair Up to Create New Band

After Battling With Online Media in China, Music Label Tries Cooperation

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BEIJING ( -- Universal Music has launched an online competition, Super Star Super Search 2009, with a Chinese video-sharing web site,, to find young Chinese musicians to form a rock band for the U.S. record label.

The partnership marks the first time a major record label has cooperated with an online video web site to expand its artist pool in China, said Victor Koo, Youku's founder and CEO in Beijing.
Victor Koo, CEO of in Beijing
Victor Koo, CEO of in Beijing
"This joint initiative shows how internet video has gone mainstream. A new generation of video-centric web sites is going to eclipse the portals."

Through Jan. 10, 2009, internet users can upload video clips of their performances on Youku, while a series of offline competitions will be held in North America.

Youku's visitors and a professional committee organized by Universal Music will vote for their favorite video clips at the same time.

Universal Music is also working with Chinese art schools, a Chinese magazine called Fun that is dedicated to youth art, and Pilot Records, an independent record label based in Beijing, to promote Super Star Super Search 2009.

Youku's site attracts more than 45 million unique visitors who watch and upload video clips every week, making it the seventh-largest destination web site in China, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.

Universal Music, one of many foreign music and entertainment companies that has struggled to overcome piracy and illegal downloading issues in China, is "reconsidering its relation with new media platforms like Youku," said Caralinda Booth, an artist and repertoire consultant of Universal Music.

"In the old days, we defined new media as a potential business. But today, Universal Music considers it as a new bridge directly connected to our future stars that will broaden our landscape."

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