Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"This Too Shall Pass"

The fellas of the band OK Go are back at it, producing the best single-shot music video of all time, this time, for the song "This Too Shall Pass". 

You'll probably remember their video for "Here it Goes Again".  You don't?  Well, I'd love to embed the video here on my blog to remind you, but the geniuses at their record label, EMI, have disabled embedding, so I can only LINK to it.  Well, if you don't remember the song title, I'm sure you'll remember that it was the video with the treadmills.  "The Treadmill" video has reportedly been viewed over 10 million times.  That video alone turned them into an overnight sensation.  Everyone knows about that video.

And, while they're not the most mainstream/marketable band in the world, that video had to have helped record sales.  No one would know who they are were it not for that unique idea (and flawless execution) and the interweb.  Were it not for the "viral" nature of the internet, their video would probably no have been seen by a tenth of the audience.  They have made a few other interesting videos (Here and Here and Here), but none have been as popular as the treadmill video.

So, when the band found out that their label was no longer going to allow embedding of videos on blogs and websites (because the label wanted to make more money by making people come to their website to view videos) the band decided to find a sponsor for their newest creation.

So, thanks to All-State, I can present to you the newest "Greatest Single-Shot Music Video of All Time".

(Plus, another generation will learn who Rube Goldberg is.)

UPDATE:  Via ALTT5MA comment section is this OpEd in the New York Times from the lead singer of OK Go Damian Kulash, Jr. giving the back story of their struggle with their label EMI over their videos.  The crux of the problem:
A few years ago, reeling from plummeting record sales, record companies went after YouTube, demanding payment for streams of their material. They saw videos, suddenly, as potential sources of revenue. YouTube agreed to pay the record companies a tiny amount for each stream, but — here’s the crux of the problem — they pay only when the videos are viewed on YouTube’s own site.
Embedded videos — those hosted by YouTube but streamed on blogs and other Web sites — don’t generate any revenue for record companies, so EMI disabled the embedding feature. Now we can’t post the YouTube versions of our videos on our own site, nor can our fans post them on theirs. If you want to watch them, you have to do so on YouTube.
But this isn’t how the Internet works. Viral content doesn’t spread just from primary sources like YouTube or Flickr. Blogs, Web sites and video aggregators serve as cultural curators, daily collecting the items that will interest their audiences the most. By ignoring the power of these tastemakers, our record company is cutting off its nose to spite its face.
The numbers are shocking: When EMI disabled the embedding feature, views of our treadmill video dropped 90 percent, from about 10,000 per day to just over 1,000. Our last royalty statement from the label, which covered six months of streams, shows a whopping $27.77 credit to our account.
Interesting insight into the music industry.

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