I wrote a pop song in January (well, it kind of wrote itself, but that's another story) and I've been pursuing ways to make a demo for the song. There's a problem: making demos isn't cheap - the minimum cost is about £300 but if I want to make a decent demo I am looking at £1000 minimum. In modern times a demo has to be of the highest quality possible to have any chance of being listened to by any record company. There must be many people 'out there' with the same problem.
I think there could be a solution to this problem - a website could be started called 'A capella A&R*' or something along those lines: any individual would be able to simply sing their song into a microphone unaccompanied and have their rendition of the song recorded and listed on the site for other people to listen to. The barest minimum - the songwriter singing the song unaccompanied (or perhaps with just one instrument) - would be encouraged ahead of demos with full backing. Any site visitor would be able to vote for any song and the voting system would highlight the songs that are deemed 'most commercial'. Then, outside parties would be able to assist the songwriters in developing (and hopefully releasing) their songs. The participation of big names would add to the gravitas of the site. Perhaps the big names would only listen to the songs that had achieved a certain rating or received a specified number of votes?
*A&R = talent scout.