EMI/Capitol Records Works Hard To Make Ok Go's Viral Video Less Viral

from the marketing-geniuses dept

You probably know of the band Ok Go's famous treadmill video:
It helped attract a ton of attention to the band. The band's lead singer, Damian Kulash, has been quite outspoken about why bands need to be fan friendly, and even took to the pages of the NY Times to discuss the evils of DRM, and has spoken before Congress on music industry issues as well. The band has always done quite a lot to try to connect with fans and not hinder them in any way -- which is part of why it has such a huge following.

So, with the band coming out with a new quirky video, you would think that it would be readily available all over the place. However, Martin points us to the news that the video was put up on YouTube by the band's label, Capitol Records, a subsidiary of EMI, but it did so with geoblocking and with embedding disabled. In fact, if you go to the original treadmill video, you'll see that Capitol Records has disabled embedding on that video as well. Notice that I have it embedded above? That's because I used the embed code from an earlier post back when embedding was allowed. Yet now, go and click on the video... and it gives you an error message saying embedding has been disabled. All those people who helped spread that video? Capitol Records broke them all. Nice of them. It's impossible to fathom what the folks at EMI/Capitol are thinking here. They are making it more difficult to make a viral video viral. Both blocking it from being viewed in various regions and blocking embeds makes no sense at all.

Of course, the band recognizes this and are pissed off about it:
As for the issue of geoblocking, we're incredibly upset that the youtube versions of our videos can't be embedded. Just one more example of major labels accelerating their own demise. We (and every individual band out there) have exactly zero leverage in this particular battle, however. So we post to other sites as well.
In fact, the band itself has now put the video up on Vimeo as well, which does allow embedding:
Of course, given that Vimeo has these bizarre and nonsensical rules against commercial use, and this is obviously a commercial video, you have to wonder why this is allowed. Oh yeah, also, it's worth remembering that Capitol Records just sued Vimeo for copyright infringement -- so I can't see the label being all that thrilled about this. Either way, the video is going up in a variety of other places in embeddable format, but not by Capitol Records, meaning that it gets more fragmented, less viral, and hurts Capitol Records. And people wonder why EMI and the other major labels are collapsing.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    I still love when Terra Firma bought out EMI and when they were going through EMI's books found references to expenses labeled as "fruits and flowers".

    Hookers and cocaine. You've got to love Rock & Roll! You know what Rock & Roll doesn't love?

    Copyright infringement.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    moi, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 1:17pm

    and now even that video is gone. bummer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    ArgonVesher, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 1:33pm

    Looks like even the "safe" embedded video has bit the dust. you spoke too soon!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    dkp, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    when I went to watch it on youtube they had an ad embedded on it I do not know who embedded the ad but it was extremely annoying.

     

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  5.  
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    Lachlan Hunt (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 2:07pm

    I can't see how this video would go viral anyway, regardless of the actions of the label. I don't think the song is particularly great, the singing was terrible, the music was irritating and the American style marching band doesn't seem like it will have much appeal outside the US. I thought it was boring. Honestly, if I'll be happy to never hear this song or watch the video again.

    I think that's a real shame though, cause I really liked some of their older songs, especially Here it Goes Again.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    I love how record companies think geographical lockouts make any sense on the Internet.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 2:54pm

    Re:

    Way to miss the point of the entire discussion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    AK, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 2:56pm

    The embed plays just fine for me....

     

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  9.  
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    Jaws4theRevenge, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Re:

    Ah, but if European people want to view it, they can just go to our EU subsidiary's website on the European internet.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 3:38pm

    My answer for this is to give every video with embedding disabled a rating of 1 star and a short comment explaining why. If a few million other people would do the same (driving down the ratings) it could send a message of massive discontent.

    Gotta start somewhere...

     

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  11.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Re:

    ...except nobody will bother hunting down a video like that...

    The whole value of a viral video is the impulse click & share nature. Remove the impulse, you remove the value.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    :), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:22pm

    Open Music for the masses.

    opensourcemusic.com
    opsound.org

    2 more sources for free music that will not give you problems if you distribute them.

     

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  13.  
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    Henry Emrich (profile), Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    No wonder I basically hate everything at this point:

    1. If OkGo is supposedly so "fan-friendly" and actually understands how to leverage the Internet to their advantage, then if they were stupid/gullible/greedy enough to actually 'sign' with any label -- much less a "major" label like EMI -- then they have exactly *zero* reason to be bitching.

    Sell your soul to Satan, and then complain when he comes to collect.....brilliant.

    The only reason I can actually think of for them signing at all, is that despite all their supposed fan-friendliness and anti-DRM stance, and pro-Internet babbling, they *still* harbor some notion of cashing in on the archtypical "celebrity lifestyle" the major labels made possible.

    Maybe it's time for artists --- REAL artists, I mean -- to realize that the Internet has basically kicked the shit out of the whole IDEA of "celebrity", and people should stop trying to resurrect it.

    (OF course, if they *really* wanted to leverage the Internet, they wouldn't have simply uploaded this thing to centralized setups like Youtube or Vimeo -- they'd also dump it into every torrent tracker they could find, and/or urge their own fans to host it, a la "Grey Tuesday".

    But no, instead they'd rather just bitch about it.
    Serve's 'em right for "signing" in the first place.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:29pm

    Some will, others will stumble across it, but I'm referring to any and EVERY video that has embedding disabled. I don't spend a great deal of my time watching YouTube videos, but I still come across enough of them anyway.

     

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  15.  
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    Jaws4theRevenge, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 4:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Guess I should have dropped in a "/sarcasm" at the end there. I thought my reference to a separate internet for Europe might have sufficed...

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 5:05pm

    My response was not to you Jaws, but to the article itself and issues raised in it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Ben Scott, Jan 14th, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Re:

    This is why the geoblocking was in place, I'm sure. We would not want to expose anyone outside the USA to an American-style marching band.

     

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  18.  
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    Chargone (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 12:41am

    Re: No wonder I basically hate everything at this point:

    there is the possibility that their knowledge and stance on the subject came about After signing with the label.

    i say this in total ignorance regarding this band, however.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Ady, Jan 15th, 2010 @ 5:55am

    Re: Henry Emrich

    Henry, nice facts there. I'm glad you sourced all the reasons they might have signed two major labels.

    I'm sure you knew they would have been able to afford their last few tours, albums and ridiculous stage shows without any financial muscle and marketing whatsoever. So they clearly planned this all out very carefully with the intention to whine and bitch about the situation they knowingly threw themselves into.

    *Lowest form of wit: deactivate*

    I saw them last night and they were damn good. I wouldn't have gone to the gig or bought their three albums across the last few years if I wasn't given a copied album to listen to in the first place.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
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    SomeGuy (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 6:35am

    Re: No wonder I basically hate everything at this point:

    In the not-too-distant past, signing was really the only viable way to make music happen. I don't know if that's necessarily true for this band, but I'm pretty sure I heard about OkGo quite a while before online indepentent music really took off. At the very least, it's possible they weren't aware of an alternative to signing. Unless you know otherwise, cut them a break.

     

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  21.  
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    julie, Jan 15th, 2010 @ 7:25am

    Has anyone ever thought that Youtube (aka GOOGLE might) also be implicated in this and should be blamed too ???

     

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  22.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jan 15th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Re: No wonder I basically hate everything at this point:

    According to Wikipedia, OK Go first signed with Capitol Records in 2001. The music industry was entirely different back then, with the major labels having a much tighter hold. It was in its dying days, for sure, but that was still back when signing with a major label was the only proven way to get widespread exposure, and well before YouTube/MySpace/whatever.

    Not only that, but maybe their recent activities have been part of them realising their mistakes? Nearly 10 years of experience would have taught them the error of their ways, yet the contracts enforced by major labels usually run at least a decade, often more if a large specific number of albums is contracted.

    I'd suspect that if OK Go were just forming this year and still signed for a major, you might have some valid points. A band already working for a major for nearly a decade and trying to make things more fan-friendly should be welcomed, not attacked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2010 @ 1:01am

    disabled

    "Embedding disabled by request" certainly helps the spreading of a video (even if this one is well known).

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    themrbum from youtube, May 7th, 2012 @ 3:54am

    EMI/Capitol Records Works Hard To Make Ok Go's Viral Video Less Viral

    I hate the big record companies and I think that every body should do what they can to push them out! Record companies only want to make money for them selves and they have too much power to damage artists. They cry out that piracy is hurting art but it's only a small issue compared to the damage these b@stards are doing.
    Every band should get their own publisher of sorts going to push the big names out of business. Bands should own their own material, not be subjected to the will of some mulch-billion dollar scum sucker company who did nothing to create art other then take nearly all the royalties and revenue from it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    themrbum from youtube, May 7th, 2012 @ 3:57am

    Re: Lachlan Hunt comment viral video

    I think you've missed the point here. Even if this specific video has little popularity, the point remains that artists are being choked by the very companies who claim to be defending their work.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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