Have Six Seasons of American Idol Reshaped Independent Music?

As always, Andy Dehnart rounds up the recaps and criticism of last night's first studio elimination round on American Idol. Now in season six, it's pretty interesting to see the effect that the show has had on independent musicians.

Many of the show's critics have trounced it, claiming that the show seems to celebrate everything that has gone horribly wrong with the recording industry in the last two decades. And, for sure, I certainly have seen correspondence from readers of my music business books, telling me things like: "growing my audience is good, I guess, but how exactly will this help me get on American Idol?"

What I like to focus on, however, is how the show has seemed to crystallize a segment of working musicians to work even harder to make a living making music. If a critical contention of the show is that it encourages anyone who wants to be famous to stand in line at a stadium, it also seems like it's helping some folks to get a little more serious about becoming artists (whether or not they decide to try out).

This is an unfinished/unresearched idea nugget, and some of this might percolate its way into a new book -- what are your thoughts?

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