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Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006, 14:47 GMT
Unsigned bands to compete online
Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys
The Arctic Monkeys became famous through the online site MySpace
Unsigned bands will be invited to compete online as part of a web-based contest to find new music talent.

Last.Fm, Skype, 7Digital and Bebo have joined forces to create an online talent contest, with the public voting for their favourite performers.

"It's a lot easier for bands to join online than it is to head down to London to audition and be humiliated," said organiser John Leaver.

Each vote will cost 80p, with the money donated to the Save the Children.

'Quality music'

The contest has drawn some comparisons to the ITV talent show The X Factor.

But Mr Leaver, of Monument PR, believes that launching the competition online will channel "better quality" talent .

"It's judged by the fans. You're actually going to see quality music emerging," he said.

"There are millions of bands globally registered online and most of those would not join X Factor because it's not their sort of music.

"With X Factor you only end up with one category, which is the lowest common denominator, " he said.

The winning band will get to sign a deal with a record label. Bands are being invited to register as soon as possible.

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