Why You and I Can’t Embed Music Videos


In Sunday’s Op-Ed section of the New York Times, Damian Kulash Jr., lead guitarist and singer of the band OK Go (the band with the oh-so-viral treadmill video “Here It Goes Again”) explains why you and I can not embed music videos on our websites. Turns out it’s just big record companies being dumb short-sighted, once again.

If you look at the amount of music videos on the web today, you could assume that music videos, in addition to porn videos, are frequently searched for. Just try and look for some old song that you remember from your high school dance. It’s most likely that someone has either put up a video of the song if there is one available or has posted just the song along with a picture or picture slide show. For instance, if you look, you can find some videos of classic Genesis with Peter Gabriel.

And of course, those of us who create content sites and/or participate in websites built around sharing culture content share those videos, usually by using the embed code that comes with the video on the website where we first saw the video. Thereby allowing us to go “Ooo look; I found this cool video,” which, like a 80’s hair ad or a STD in an orgy, gets shared again and again and again — if it really is that cool. You’d think that record companies would get behind that, we and everyone else are freely promoting your video in a way that your promotions department can’t.

For example, the singer Sade just released a new album, Soldier of Love, Feb. 2010. The last time Sade released an album was Lover’s Rock in 2000, 10 years ago. This is big since Sade is the type of singer who almost everyone loves or at least respects. I mean, how many singers can release an album 10 years later that will automatically be highly-anticipated?

As her first single was released, it was passed around on the Internet through embedded videos and just as quickly those unauthorized videos, on the sites I read the most, were taken down. But I may not have even found out about the video or even listened to the first song if someone hadn’t said “Oo this is cool; I need to post it.”

Internet users are a short-attention span economy, they want their viral now, make it quick. If you ask them to go to another website to get the final product of something you’ve mentioned in a post, maybe only 1/2 of those people will do that (1/2 is me being generous). The rest will go on to easier things. It’s just the way things seem to work. If Sade’s record company had allowed the video to be embedded, it could have been more widely seen by people, thus creating new fans and informing current fans who may not have known about her new album, if they, the record companies, had only allowed her new video to be embedded.

Kulash writes in the article that his video “Here It Goes Again” dropped “from about 10,000 [views] per day to just over 1,000” views per a day when his record label disabled embedding on the video. So why did the companies disable embedding? (See? I haven’t forgot the point of this article.)

The companies wanted to make money. And it turns out the money made on doing this is not even a large amount. In the article Kulash writes, “labels receive $.004 to $.008 per stream [view].”

So on one hand we have embedding that gets your band promoted, gets more kids to buy the album and go to the concert and in general, be informed about your band. On the other hand you have no embedding, which doesn’t help the band you signed get promotion, which means less record sales and possibly less concert seats sold; but hey, you got $.004 cents from that kid who looked up the band on YouTube.

I’m failing at seeing why this is a smart business choice, but that’s most likely because it’s not smart.

To read the rest of the piece, including what this possibly means for the future of music, click here.

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Friday Fail


I’m a huge fan of South Park and this Fail definitely reminds me of one of the better episodes. Remember when Randy Marsh was on Wheel of Fortune trying to guess the word “naggers” with the clue “people who annoy you”? This Fail is kind of like that. Enjoy it and the irony the follows.

Online Confessions: Cure-all or Schadenfreude 2.0?


Whether is be about sex, neurotic tendencies, or something else, there is something cathartic about reading someone’s anonymous confession to a lustful moment, anger, insecurity, or just about any feeling you may have felt or may be feeling as well.

Or, could indulging in the habit of reading others’ confessions be good old-fashioned Schadenfreude? According to Merriam-Webster, Schadenfreude is “enjoyment obtained from the troubles of others.”

In January 2009, Science Daily published a story that touched on some of the emotional benefits of new mothers communicating to each other in an online forum.

One of the main conclusions was that, “the opportunity to share experiences with like-minded, local women can stop pregnant women and mothers from feeling isolated and worrying about giving birth and parenting.”

You may not be giving birth or a parent at the moment, but perhaps one thing you can take away from this study is, the opportunity to share experiences with like-minded people can help you (us) from feeling isolated and worried. The Internet, offers us many opportunities to connect with like-minded people on subjects like education, entertainment, pleasure, and more.

Anonymous confession boards are one way of connecting. Not just for the people confessing, but for those reading as well. The first place I discovered this was at the website Group Hug.

Group Hug was started in 2003, and in it you could find confessions about cheating, crappy parents (or parenting), friendship betrayal, school mishaps, dating mistakes, tales of lust, and more. Like the following:

i always say “dont fake it”, but damn. i’m the biggest fake around. i cant help it if i prefer peace over honesty. the latter’s just too messy.

….

so yeah. even if i still talk to you and act like it’s all ok, it still doesnt change that fact.

that you’re a slut who loves attention.

i mean what kinda friend are you if you take such pleasure getting every guy your friend(s) want just to prove you can get them?

Simply because the site has become very popular, the quality of confessions has lowered. But don’t let that deter you from browsing.

There are also specialized confession sites, like I Am Neurotic. At this site, users divulge their real or imagined neurotic tendencies.

Whenever I have gum in my mouth and want to spit it out, I will never spit it outside on the ground for others to see. I think someone will get upset, trace my DNA from the gum and figure out who I am.

or this one

I cannot touch food that is cold if it is supposed to be hot. If I am reheating something, I have to ask someone else to put their finger in it to see if its hot because I’m scared that if i touch it, it will still be cold. I also can’t eat things like macaroni salad, because noodles are meant to be hot, not cold.

If those don’t fill your plate there are plenty of other confession sites to choose from.

FMyLife

Confessions4u

Post Secret

Truu Confessions (The mom confessions channel of this site spawned a book.)

I’ve Screwed Up

And for those who feel the need to read or confess in 140 characters or less (yes, a Twitter reference), there are two anonymous confessions sites that may fill your need.

Kvetch! and SecretTweet

Whether online confession sites hurt or help us more is a question for the ages; in the meantime — let it all out.

Friday Fail


Homeland Security fail

Listen to your friend Bert the Turtle. When you see that atomic flash, Duck and Cover — with a newspaper. (This seems right up there with duct taping your windows against chemical attacks.) To see Duck and Cover in its entirety, click the “more” tag.

aaa

Bonus:  A remix of the opening sequence.

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