Monday, February 22, 2010

EMI Disables Embedding Option on YouTube

Ok Go is well-known for their rise in popularity thanks to their treadmill dancing in their music video for "Here It Goes Again." The band credits this success largely in part to YouTube, where fans could watch the video, then embed it in other sites, thus passing along the video until they gained so much recognition for it that they were performing on the VMAs.

Recently, YouTube and the band's label, EMI, have placed restrictions for embedding on these videos. YouTube, which now pays record companies a very small amount for streaming their artists' videos on the site, didn't agree to pay the labels for streaming on any other site. So, EMI doesn't get any revenue from any of those times Ok Go's video was embedded on another site, and with so little revenue in the music industry, the label is trying to get all the money they can.

Ok Go is rallying against disabled embedding, saying it will kill the free viral marketing that they owe so much of their success to. The band can't even post the YouTube versions of their videos on their own site. According to the article I read, when EMI disabled embedding on the "Here It Goes Again" video, "views of the 'treadmill video' dropped 90 percent." That's pretty huge.

The members of Ok Go argue that since there is so little revenue coming from streaming YouTube videos, there's really no point to policing it as much as EMI is. And, honestly, I just went on YouTube and found the "Here It Goes Again" video on two random people's pages that had the embedding option available. So, it doesn't look like it's working.

-- Ashley Snider


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