Last weekend, NOLAGirl (resident FEMA trailer survivor and dinner companion extraordinairre) sent me one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
To date, Funnyordie.com lists the views of this video as 23,177,441. I personally know five other people who were emailed this video by totally different sources. If this number is correct, that is some significant “reach”. In this recent Chicago Tribune article, the proliferation of online video sharing is explored. Clearly, YouTube, GoFish, Dailymotion and others have provided an avenue for amateurs to create and post video. It’s also been a fertile breeding ground for the posting of great past musical performances, like this one:
Seven Spanish Angels – Ray Charles & Willie Nelson
But I digress. I was first exposed to YouTube and GoFish about a year ago when watching American Idol and various performances were “put up” (mostly on GoFish). I’ve watched over the last year as these sites have evolved, now including “channels”, advanced search functions, and “Artists Voices”. There are numerous blogs dedicated to YouTube “diving” (i.e., YouTubedigger.com), finding stellar videos to share with others — be it music, classic TV commercials, movie scenes, home videos or comedy. While the jury is still out on copyright infringement, these video sharing providers claim safe harbor under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, which limits liability of Web service providers whose USERS are in violation of copyright laws. And, YouTube is compliant with wishes to remove videos when an “owner” requests such. So, for now, it’s all good.
But I digress. What’s really starting to get interesting is the use of these vehicles by established, popular artists like Will Ferrell. Alanis Morisette has the biz a-buzzin’ about her parody of The Black-Eyed Peas’ My Humps. The ever-observant brc sent me an article by Patrick Goldstein of the L.A. Times that addresses the shear brilliance (intended or not) of Morisette’s video. Hailed as a commentary of the state of music and social ills today, this video was self-produced and with over 6.4 million views to date, has given Morisette more exposure than she’s had in years. I’ve seen it at three different sites, myself.
“This is what gives YouTube its real power. It is a forum not just for amateur pranks but also for career reinvention. For Morissette, this video — made at her home on digital video for roughly $2,000 — may transform her persona as much as taking a part in “Pulp Fiction” did for John Travolta. “
No doubt you’ve seen the vids, but just in case you haven’t, here they are:
My Humps, Black-Eyed Peas
My Humps, Alanis Morissette
And, to tie it all together:
My Humps, Will Ferrell
It’ll be interesting to see if more artists will go the self-production route and try to market their wares via these on-line web sharing outlets. It’s certainly much cheaper than the glitzy, Hollywood production music videos that have fallen out of favor. It also is a way to gain exposure to a diverse cross-section of demographics, who use and abuse YouTube and it’s competitors, present company excluded. With the challenge of artists to increase “reach” and exposure to the masses, are YouTube and it’s contemporaries a viable marketing strategy?
ETA: Found this article regarding YouTube on the Boogie Board, posted by sturgis66. Interesting that now YouTube will begin paying high traffic contributors. Hmmmm. Change any opinions? Maybe Shrew’s right?!? Nah.