music video 2-point-something

Bloody Radiohead. They’ve done it again.

While the music video industry is nervously looking around, trying to avoid gloomy nose-dive scenarios, those Radiohead fuckers do something no one else has done before. Again. 
An interactive, no-camera-just-code, ready-to-remix video experiment.
Genius, right? Or is it just another marketing ploy, as cynics were keen to point out  last year when the band gave away their album on a pay-as-want basis?

I think you can judge from a few angles. 

From a creative point of view, I feel it scores well.
Apart from the fact that I’ve never really seen anything like it, it’s a great piece of visual expression that is typical for the band/brand Radiohead.
I also think that as a piece of filmmaking it does have its values. I watch a lot of music videos and my attention span is close to that of a goldfish, but this video kept me watching. Quite a feat. 

From an interactive point of view it’s a bit limited. The fact that it’s open source is obviously a genius thing. But unless you’re quite a geek -and let’s be honest, not that many of us are- it’s hard to interact with the work. In that way, Arcade Fire’s attempt last year was more successful, be it less aspirational. 

Technologically I’m sure it’s all great, but I personally couldn’t care less. Velodyne Lidar technology, whatever. 

And marketing-wise? A success, no doubt. After 3 days it’s already racked up more views on YouTube than a lot of it the band’s older videos. And which music video has recently received that much attention in the broadsheet media (ok – it’s the online version, but still). And has a collaboration with Google. 
But is that because Radiohead had a clever marketing plan? Or because it’s a great piece of work and worth the attention? 

One last point. Is this the solution to the flailing music video business? Obviously not. Although I’m sure production companies are already thinking about how to ‘implement’ this and score a YouTube hit themselves, this video really is just one example of doing something creative that also gets noticed.
Afetr all, even Robbie Williams made ‘interactive videos’ 5 years ago. 

13 thoughts on “music video 2-point-something

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  2. Charles

    “And which music video has recently received that much attention in the broadsheet media (ok – it’s the online version, but still).”

    It was also in the print version. Don’t you buy a copy?

  3. grr Post author

    Rarely, to be honest.
    But you made me wonder. As you work for the Guardian, would you know roughly how online readership numbers compare to the approx 350K (is that correct) copies the print version sells?
    Thanks btw for the first comment on this site.

  4. Simon

    Having recently worked with Radiohead on the video for the All I Need track http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=DV1hQSt2hSE, I personally feel that like a lot of things there is no one reason why a band would experiment like this – especially when the experimentaion is not their own work — ie the House of Cards music video format was proposed to the band by the director and the All I Need video concept was one we came up with and approached the band with.

    Is there a marketing ploy behind it? I think so – at least from the business machine that surrounds Radiohead if not the band themselves.
    Is this the sole reason to do it? Absolutely not

    For a band that has been able to establish and maintain such creative credibilty as Radiohead there is freedom to experiment when it comes to visual representations of their music.

    In the end, I like Grr, watched the video and was glued to it — therefore, a successful, innovative, and creative promo… What more can ask for…

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