Friday, March 12, 2010

OK Go Makes Good Videos: Legal Follow-up

In a previous post, I presented two videos OK Go made for their song This Too Shall Pass.

I was able to embed one version, but not the other. It turns out this is due to restrictions imposed by their (incredibly short-sighted) label.

And the numbers show it: The first video they released, which is a one-take film featuring the Notre Dame marching band, was released January 8, or just over two months ago.

Total views? 1.2 million.

The next was the Rube Goldberg version, released March 1 (less than two WEEKS ago).

Total views? 7.4 million.

In other words, the ability to embed the 2nd version on everyone's website is what accounts for the extra views.

Look, OK Go is known for their music videos. Their choreographed treadmill video for Here It Goes Again is possibly, depending on the source you believe, the most-streamed music video ever.

But Capitol/EMI did not allow embedding of the first version. Why? Lead singer Damian Kulash explains here.

Yet another symptom of how out of touch the dinosaurs known as record labels truly are. It's a quick read, and quite enlightening.


Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

How is it possible that the record companies haven't employed some MIT grad to figure out a way to encourage (and thus profit from) sharing/embedding? Off the top of my head, I'm thinking they could at least make the embedded code string longer than the viewable space and only accessed by clicking the embed button. Charge a miniscule amount for each embed click. Done.

Will that eliminate piracy completely? No, I'm sure those bright enough and/or motivated will figure out a way. Isn't that always the case though? Where there's a will, there's a way.

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

Just to follow up here...

With minimal effort, I was able to embed their "embedding disabled" version of This Too Shall Pass. Of course, they aren't idiots and the folks at YouTube have control over whether you actually get to play the video (guessing it's a simple database flag), but if they could tabulate the number of times that embedding check is made, they could make money.

Just spit-balling simple ideas here.

FletcherDodge said...

I bought two OK Go songs from iTunes after seeing the This Too Shall Pass video online.

I'm an average guy with an iPod and iTunes. I figure if I've bought two songs, there must be a lot of people out there who would be encouraged to buy songs after seeing the video online.

There must be some middle man who's getting cut out, because I see nothing but upside in allowing -- hell encouraging -- sharing through embedding.