I knew OK Go cemented their names in the viral video history books when one of my professors said their video for “Here It Goes Again” was one of the big events in YouTube history. So, when their original video for “This Too Shall Pass” was blocked from blog embeds, I figured something was amiss.
Fortunately, the band thought something was wrong with that as well. Frontman Damian Kulash even went as far as to call out his label, EMI, in a New York Times Op-Ed for doing harm to their own aims and goals:
Embedded videos — those hosted by YouTube but streamed on blogs and other Web sites — don’t generate any revenue for record companies, so EMI disabled the embedding feature. Now we can’t post the YouTube versions of our videos on our own site, nor can our fans post them on theirs. If you want to watch them, you have to do so on YouTube.
But this isn’t how the Internet works. Viral content doesn’t spread just from primary sources like YouTube or Flickr. Blogs, Web sites and video aggregators serve as cultural curators, daily collecting the items that will interest their audiences the most. By ignoring the power of these tastemakers, our record company is cutting off its nose to spite its face.
Well, as much as the band understands its fans thirst for pop-laden hooks and genius, embed-able videos, they also seem to understand smart business practices. Somehow, they managed to convince EMI to let their newest video for “This Too Shall Pass” to be available for embedding. And they broke the anti-embed code with quite a video:
Check the quick reference to “Here It Goes Again,” and then tell me that “political” motives in music videos can’t be fun.