"It gives a voice to everyone in the entire planet who has aspirations of a career recording in show business so it's certainly handy to have it," says Ron Fair, chairman of Geffen Records.
12-year old Greyson Chance was the surprise star of his sixth grade talent show in Oklahoma when he performed a Lady Gaga tribute in his school gym before a few hundred people.
But on YouTube he's now been watched more than 30 million times. Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres saw Chance's performance, created a music label, and signed Greyson as her first act. Now working on his album in Los Angeles, CBS Evening News's Ben Tracy asked the rising star about his new found fame.
"It's crazy, but it's been so much fun," says Chance. "This is my dream and I've always wanted to do this with my life."
16-year-old pop star Justin Bieber is living that same dream. He and his equally famous hair strut alongside Usher in Bieber's latestmusic video, "Somebody to Love". Beiber has sold more than two million albums, but two years ago, he was singing on his couch. Eager to share her son's talent with their family, Beiber's mom uploaded some videos on to YouTube, winning him any aspiring musician's YouTube jackpot ¬- a record deal. Justin Timberlake and Usher fought to sign the then 13-year-old to their record labels. Usher won.
"My head was definitely spinning I mean I was like am I dreaming?" Beiber told Katie Couric earlier this year. "It was kind of a surreal moment."
Thousands of harmonizing hopefuls are now uploading their work to YouTube and MySpace. Singer Colbie Calliat's MySpace popularity led to a record contract and a platinum album, while YouTube turned low budget acapella group Straight no Chaser into a flashy man band.
Chance knows who he owes his luck at stardom to. "I do not think I can thank YouTube enough," he says. "They're amazing."