Diddy contest adds dash of social networking
Marketing oneself online an important piece of 'Starmaker'Music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs wants you -- a music star of the Facebook generation. He does not want a performer who can only sing, dance, or look good on TV, but one who can do all that, and social network.
On Sunday, Combs launched a TV competition show on the MTV cable network called "P. Diddy's Starmaker" that, like "American Idol," aims to find an unknown singer who has the stuff to become a star.
But heading into a new decade of the 21st century, winning fame and fortune as a performer is far different then when the rapper, music producer, clothing maker and all-around music impresario first became a star by his own right during the 1990s.
"The game has changed," Combs told Reuters this week.
"You have to understand how to be able to brand yourself," he said. "Before, it was just at live shows, now you have to be able to do a great live show, you have to be able to do a great online interview, you need to have a great Facebook page, you have to have a great television performance."
"P. Diddy's Starmaker," which premiered Sunday with 14 contestants, runs through September and has a format similar to "American Idol" and other TV talent contests by eliminating performers who fail to make the cut until a winner is crowned.
Combs said his show different from a "voyeuristic standpoint" because it gives behind-the-scenes footage of the contestants interacting with each other and watching from backstage as their rivals perform.
He has another show airing on MTV called "Making His Band," in which Diddy seeks a select group of musicians to back him on tour and support his upcoming album, "Last Train to Paris." The show began July 27 with 42 undiscovered musicians competing for spots, and it runs through September.
"Hopefully I'll be able to get a whole band, but if I'm able to get pieces, whatever I'm able to get," he said. "It's about giving some young musicians an opportunity."
Combs founded Bad Boy Records in the 1990s and signed the late rapper Notorious B.I.G., before finding success as a rapper and with various business endeavors.