Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Weezer's YouTube Trade: We'll Star in Your Videos, You Help Us Sell Music

Weezer had a big hit on YouTube a couple of years ago with “Pork and Beans,” a video that featured some of YouTube’s biggest stars. For its encore the band is inverting the strategy: The YouTube stars make their own videos, and the band appears in their clips.

You should see many of them today, when YouTube has agreed to feature a dozen-plus videos from the campaign on its homepage and the YouTubers who star in them run them on their own “channels.”

It’s a savvy play that should work out nicely for everyone: The band, which is promoting its new album, “Hurley,” gets in front of an audience the size of a late-night talk show. The YouTube celebrities get more eyeballs, which they can turn into dollars with Google’s (GOOG) revenue-sharing program. And YouTube, which isn’t charging for access to its homepage, gets buzz and a showcase for other brands that might pay for its service.

Here’s the thumbnail description of the stunt from Ben Patterson, whose DashGo distribution company helped set the stunt up:

All the YouTubers get whatever Partner revenue they earn, get homepage placement and can leverage Weezer + our social marketing channels to promote themselves. Plus for a lot it was fun chance to perform with, joke with or whatever with Weezer.

From a numbers standpoint – their aggregate subscriber count, inclusive of end card plugs for Weezer and the new album Hurley hit about 10 million people. Which is about 3x a late night or morning performance audience.

And here’s a sample of the collaborations the band and the YouTubers have put together, via Auto-Tune the News:

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik