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Ok Go - The Kings of Viral Video

Ok Go are the original masters of the viral music video. Their dancing on treadmills video has been viewed over 50 million times and catapulted the band from obscurity to fame.

So we’ve been very excited since they started making videos again (after a three year break). The video above is the second from their new album. While it’s a very enjoyable watch and will no doubt be very popular, the remarkable part isn’t how cool it is.

What is remarkable about this video is the fact that it’s the second one they’ve made for the first single. The first video was really well produced, quite popular and was only released in January of this year. So you might ask “why go to all that effort to make a second video?”

Why not? Ok Go are obviously able to work out the conversion metrics for each of their videos. If they calculated that (for example) 5 albums are sold for every 1,000 views*, then it makes perfect sense to create a video designed to spread.

But why stop at one? Why not make several different styles of videos to ensure that at least one will appeal to each segment of your audience? This is your hit single and YouTube is how your fans are going to spread it, don’t pin it’s success to just one video. Eggs and baskets and all that.

If this approach feels a bit drastic for your own project, then at least consider producing more videos, maybe even one for each song on your album. You no longer need to issue a video to MTV so that it can be on air while your single is on the shelves. That world is in the past. There is no more MTV and there is no more shelf space. Your music will always be for sale online, so the promotion doesn’t need to be refined to just one release window.

Music promotion is now a much more iterative process over a longer period of time. Ok Go’s multiple music videos are great example of that.

(*0.5% is the average conversion rate based on aggregated sales data from Topspin Media)

P.S. This could be related to a disagreement the band are having with their record label, EMI, over the ability to embed the first video, but I don’t think it is. This video looks like it was planned long before the first was even released.



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