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PBS 'Off Book' explores the history and future of online music

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PBS's Off Book web series took a look at what online music and music journalism look like in 2012.

Evolution of music online
Evolution of music online

Without YouTube, would Justin Bieber have ever been discovered? Such a tragic alternate universe was mercifully avoided because the Biebs and other up-and-coming artists have tech at their disposal that lets them record, promote, and distribute their music more easily than ever. But now that anyone with a computer can be a musician, how do we pick out the good ones? PBS's Off Book web series looked at this problem, talking with Pitchfork editors, music startup executives, and a record label co-founder about what music and music journalism look like in 2012. They talk about curation and filtering, the importance of artistry in music videos (see: OK Go), and the new role sites like Pitchfork play when we can't trust MTV and the radio to show us all the good music that's out there. Check out the video below for the whole episode, and thank your lucky stars someone's out there looking for the next Bieber.