AT&T may have American Idol, but Verizon now has Dame un Break.
Dame un break is a new online contest from Yahoo En Espanol and Tr3s: MTV, MÚsica y Más designed to find the next Latino superstar. Amateur bands or solo musicians can upload videos of themselves performing original songs to the Dame un Break website until August 8th. Fans then have until August 29th to vote for their favorite videos. Representatives from Tr3s, MTV's Latino network, will then select a winner from among the finalists. That winner will get the chance to record their song and a video for it with Grammy winning producer Sebastian Krys.
Verizon, the exclusive sponsor for Dame un Break (which translates to "give me a break") will debut the video on its V Cast video-on-demand network. It is also hosting a sweepstakes exclusively for Verizon subscribers: by texting "DUB" to 66333, subscribers have a chance to win a trip to Los Angeles to see the filming of the winner's video. Verizon will also be the only featured display advertiser on the contest's site, which Yahoo hopes will end up hosting mini-communities centered on each musician.
"We're creating a 360-degree experience to enable Verizon to engage with an audience that is highly interested in music," said Armando Rodriguez, general manager of Yahoo Hispanic Americas, "both users who are submitting audition tapes as well as the general Hispanic community. This is a very digitally minded segment that believes in the Internet and is more likely to text, to comment and to download videos in general."
After the video premiers on the V Cast network, it will enter regular rotation on Tr3s (pronounced "tres"), which reaches 17.4 million Hispanic households. Verizon claims about 91.2 million wireless customers.
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
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