Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Warner Music’s YouTube Channel Is Not Not the Anti-Vevo

Three of the big music labels distribute their clips through Vevo, the online video heavyweight. Warner Music works on its own, via a standalone deal it cut with YouTube a couple of years ago.

Now Warner has another music deal with YouTube, but this one has a twist. Warner will launch a new “channel” with the video giant, which will feature even more content from the label’s artists.

The idea has a business logic to it, but it’s hard to see the consumer appeal behind “The Warner Sound.” Because, with a couple of minor exceptions, people aren’t fans of labels — they’re fans of specific artists, songs and genres.

But at least the channel is trying to do something a bit different here — instead of showcasing music videos you can see other places, it’s going to create brand-new stuff. Some examples, via a press release:

  • CeeLo Green Presents ManTazia: “Directed, shaped and cut in 2D Jankyvision, each episode of this short-form series will take you on an adventure into the lush imagination of CeeLo Green.”
  • Untitled: “Hot on the heels of his award-winning ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ documentary, actor and director Michael Rapaport presents this documentary series featuring different WMG artists.”
  • Staged: “This show takes the famous lyrics of top stars and re-imagines them as the script of a drama. Each episode will be in a different style and feature recognizable lyrics from a WMG artist.”
  • The Live Room: “Intimate performances shot in legendary recording studios around the world.”
  • Countdown to … : “An up-close look at the last frenetic days before a hotly-anticipated album comes out. In the first instalment, teen rap sensation Diggy criss-crosses the country headlining tours, shooting music videos, meeting fans and even doing homework.”
  • Finding Cody Simpson: “Using YouTube’s annotation technology, fans will be able to create their own Cody Simpson movie.”

Here’s a teaser clip. The channel is supposed to launch later this month, in conjunction with SXSW.

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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