They Just Don’t Get It

Damian Kulash from OK Go

For latest example of shortsighted corporate folly by the record industry, see this story in NY Times by Damian Kulash from OK Go!

“In 2006 we made a video of us dancing on treadmills for our song “Here It Goes Again.” We shot it at my sister’s house without telling EMI, our record company, and posted it on the fledgling YouTube without EMI’s permission…. It was viewed millions, then tens of millions of times. It brought big crowds to our concerts on five continents…. To the band, “Here It Goes Again” was a successful creative project. To the record company, it was a successful, completely free advertisement.

“Now we’ve released a new album and a couple of new videos. But the fans and bloggers who helped spread “Here It Goes Again” across the Internet can no longer do what they did before, because our record company has blocked them from embedding our video on their sites… 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.”

You can read the full article here:

But  possibly only until 2011. Ironically, that’s when the New York Times plans to put a paywall around its online content and prevent other sites from linking to it or quoting from it. Maybe this will pioneer a way of rescuing the global newspaper industry, according to one school of thought. Or maybe, goes the opposite view, Rupert Murdoch just doesn’t “get” the internet. Time will tell.

As a band, OK Go  clearly do “get” it: see their open invitation to download the raw greenscreen footage from their  video for WTF?, remix as much or little of it as you like and load it back onto YouTube. See or click on image below

click for WTF? project

That’s the way to do it!

Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


  1. Spot on as ever Tom.

    When they catch on, that’s when the traditional/old music industry will stop haemorrhaging cash. Meanwhile, this does leave room for the enterprising and the independents to take advantage of the community and the technology of YouTube!

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