OurStage is a video site for performers, where they can post live performances up on the site and in return have users vote on how good their performance was. The more votes, the more popularity the video attains and the more likely that talent recruiters will pick them for record deals. It seems to be in partnership with AOL /Time Warner so there's some serious weight added to this since it's not only a web venture, but affiliate with conventional media firms.

OurStage is only for music performers right now, which is severly limiting because I'm sure there are lots of great acts deserving of attention, and a mainstream platform like this could really takeoff for such performers that can't be so easily grouped in Ourstage's selection of performer categories centering around music. Not only is this a site for performers, but for users to pick up on new music - artists not signed to labels. The site also offer embedding of performances, an example here:

The Overall Ratings for OurStage:
Show Diversity: (3/5)
Based on the mixture of television shows available on the site.
Loading Speed: (5/5)
The time taken to navigate the site and load videos.
Ease of Navigation: (4/5)
How easy is it to use and navigate.
Advertisements: (2/5) (Annoying flash ads at top)
Based on the annoyance level of advertisements on this site, the amount of ads, and the volatility of ads appearing on the page.
The lower the rating, the less annoying the ads are.

Total Score: 15/20

OurStage is an interesting twist on the video startup industry, focusing mostly on the performance rather then the artist, as we have seen in sites like Myspace Bands. The site's ajaxy navigation plays well in that it makes it easier to use and watch videos without having to load up lots of pages over again, and the videos load fairly quickly. The video player closely resmbles the YouTube player, which has become a standard now, but the site suffers from some small problems - mostly that it's too limited to music performers, and leaves out other performing arts such as dance, and other varied art forms that could use mainstream attention. Overall the site is worth checking out, as there's quite a decent amount of unsigned and interesting music for all tastes.

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