Bix Launches $50,000 Contest

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First person identified from AOL Data: Thelma Arnold

Online karaoke site Bix ended its beta with flair last night with the launch of a $50,000 “Second Chance” video and audio karaoke competition. The “Second Chance” refers to the many of us that did not win on American Idol — not a requirement for entry. This is exactly the kind of contest, with the kind of prize Bix needs to catapult itself into public awareness.

There appears to be no sponsor other than Bix so they won’t be testing it as a direct marketing channel yet, which is too bad. However, they are about to test the validity of two theories in the overall model (although it’s being tested with an enormous prize which could skew results):

1) Can they get entrants with talent?

2) Can they get viewers?

I expect the answer will be yes to both, but I’m quite curious what viewer participation will be like. The length of an American Idol broadcast serves as a natural filter for viewers. Without that, how will viewers interact with the site? If you are just coming to vote for your friend, will you bother to watch other entries? If you are coming to explore, how many entries will you get through before enough is enough? Will visitors be drawn to “most popular” filters thereby relegating some good, but undiscovered entries to the bottom of the list? I guess we’ll find out.

Since I last wrote about them, they’ve made improvements to the UI and added some community features, like a really simple upload to “My Space”. All of this increases the chances that this could really explode.

As I said in my previous post, as a marketer, I believe this is a marketing concept with real potential. Now, we’re about to have data instead of opinions. I’ll look forward to reporting on the results in a future post.

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