Global gigging via the Internet

If you're weary of hauling equipment from gig to gig and pouring your money into repairs for your tour van, you can always try what Scottish singer Sandi Thom did: set up a webcam in her basement.

In a packed field of wannabe pop stars looking for exposure on the Web, [Thom] is attracting up to 200,000 people a night from as far afield as Pakistan to her Internet concerts.

Chris Dabbs of Streaming Tank, the web broadcast company that set up the concerts for computers to receive around the world, said: "We really liked her stuff but were not expecting the success she had."

"This is our first webcam from a basement," he said. "The numbers have shot right up. Last Friday it was 62,000. On Sunday it went up again to 182,000. I think the total will top one million by the end of March."

The good news is the Internet is leveling the playing field. The bad news is — the Internet is leveling the playing field. Suddenly, you're not just competing with the rival band across town; thanks to cheap technology, you're potentially competing with acts across the globe.