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Ok No Go: YouTube’s Embedding Restriction Is Bad For New Bands

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About three years ago, power pop band Ok Go were catapulted to fame after its independently-produced music video for the song “Here It Goes Again” caught fire on YouTube. Fans began embedding the video, which featured the band dancing on treadmills. The band’s success appeared to point the way for a new way to promote music. But in an op-ed in Saturday’s NYT, lead singer Damian Kulash, Jr., says that new bands hoping to follow the same path will have to find another route, as restrictions on embedding music videos laid down by YouTube and ithe group’s record company, EMI, have made it much harder to share videos.

Ok Go has been railing at YouTube’s embed policies for weeks. In a blog post on the band’s site in January, Ok Go was hoping it could go to its fans to at least explain the situation, and perhaps, spark some protest. (Naturally, the post also came with a plea that fans buy the band’s new album, Of The Blue Colour of The Sky.)

As Kulash says, “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

5 Responses to “Ok No Go: YouTube’s Embedding Restriction Is Bad For New Bands”

  1. Chazzy

    This new restriction has and will kill the socializing of video’s. Sure YT and now Vevo will get their views but one site can’t do what 1000’s could. They should’ve allowed you to embed with their ads…

  2. It just goes to show that wherever the big five invade music suffers, look what happened as soon as the fan driven myspace became a hunting ground for labels seeking by introducing a pay version to capitalise on the popularity of myspace which actually was young people more interested in the musical development of amateur, of the virtually unknown. The thrill is gone and because I have 4 tenagers I know they do not visit myspace no dom there peers. Beyonce used to have literally hundreds of thousands of plays on each of her songs but the other day I checked one of her songs had a pitful 5, 000. I know many industry producers, management agencies and artists who do not even log on, some for over year now,

    Youtube will soon follow and if it does not get Emi off its back, trying to back engineer a model of participation that was working is a disaster, that and the spanish sentence on 5 google executives. And facebook is trying to wring cash out of teenagers supposedly contemplating charges!! food for thought, my 14 year old son, did not want myspace never signed up, guess what he is on twitter.

  3. I think this story is indicative of the industry as a whole. OK Go made its name — hell, became a PIONEER of the art of viral video — off those early videos, in particular the treadmill vid. For EMI to deny that and also to ignore the striking fact (which Kulash shares in his Op-Ed) that the money made in restricting videos is basically nothing and even discourages overall viewing, is just more evidence of how major labels are chewing their legs off instead of working to become relevant in a new era. More of my thoughts here.

  4. I’m confused, this guy signed a paper contract with EMI who restricted his distribution on YouTube.

    However, he is complaining aboutYouTube distribution practices? What’s wrong, he too scared and chicken liver to complain to EMI?