I can’t say I’m much of a fan of OK Go. I can’t imagine too many of you are either. If you know of them, you probably know that they’re primarily known for a catchy song with a clever video that had something to do with treadmills, that was real big on YouTube for a hot minute. To the tune of 50 million views and counting.
Well, they have a new album out this week, and a new clever video for a new catchy song. However, this time around, the band has been forced to accept that they’ll never see 50 million views on YouTube, because Capitol Records, the company they depend on for distribution of their music above any other service, insists on it not being shared outside of YouTube, or outside of the US.
Or lets give them some credit: Perhaps they just don’t care enough about OK Go to ensure that it is.
Fortunately, Antiquiet is one of many sites that exist outside of the jurisdiction of Capitol Records. Have a watch, if you’d like:
When a blog called NewTeeVee put the blame on the band (calling them “morons”), the band’s frontman Damian Kulash commented:
“…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. The TTSP video will be on vimeo today. This kind of fragmentation means we’ll probably never see the likes of 50 million hits on a single posting ever again, but who cares? Perhaps it’s your passion to sit here and count the numbers, but ours is to make things that we’re proud of…”
A noble statement of dedication to the art, but in a world where career paths are determined by the numbers, it seems like a lot of bands are going to end up soaked when the major labels’ ship goes down.
Of course, these sorts of anti-future restrictions are status quo for the major labels these days, and this particular case is just a footnote in the ongoing saga. We used to scratch our heads when we’d link to a video on the world wide web, only to have readers complain that they can’t watch it because they’re in Canada, or the UK or Brazil or Thailand. Eventually, we came to accept it. We work around it, like Mr. Kulash has by uploading his video to Vimeo. We treat it as a joke, snarky editorial fodder.
However, I think by doing that, we’re being too kind to the corporations that continue to mishandle our favorite product on the planet. We have little sympathy left for the major label record industry. At this rate they’ll soon find themselves little more than licensing houses, and comparing their delivery to the competition’s, we won’t miss it one bit.