YouTube is the new MTV/VH1. Before a hit becomes a radio hit and gets spins on MTV it is first a hit on YouTube for obvious reasons of accessibility. Take Carly Rae Jepsen's video for "Call Me Maybe," which has been watched 216 million times online. The song which dominates the summer of 2012 with a playful pop beat and an irresistable hook is just what the summer ordered for fun, light fun. No wonder this is probably the most imitated video with a plethora of fan tribute lip synching versions (by celebrities, Barak Obama, US Swim Team), and remixes (e.g. "Study Maybe" by med students). The funny viral videos propelled the song popularity even further.
But while the track was number one on iTunes at the end of May, it only hit the Billboard's number 1 spot a month later. The radio airplay finally put the nail in the coffin and sealed the song as a genuine smash hit.
It is a curious thing, the order of business these days. It's as if now radio takes its cue from social media before it makes up its own mind. DJs used to hold this coveted power, now they defer to the online masses.
Why am I sharing this with you? I believe musicians today are in the enviable spot that you don't have to dream about being an MTV star anymore. You can produce your own YouTube video and if you produce it well, they will come. You have more power today than ever before. So enough lamenting the sorry state of the biz ;-) !
Hi! I guess I used the 'buried in the coffin' analogy to mean 'sealed the deal', certainly not in a negative way. But point taken! This song and its plethora of ensuing videos, well, it's not my cup of tea, though it is general 'fun' and funny. But moreover, it is an example of marketing and music promotion to meet the changing times. The song owner from the beginning gave away rights to the songs and encouraged anyone to use the original music to copy and make their own.