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Posts Tagged ‘Gangnam Style’

Why The Harlem Shake Must Dance Alone

Poor Psy. His meteoric Gangnam Style rise to superstardom is ancient history. Where was he from again?

Pop culture, which has the attention span of a squirrel on amphetamines, is all about the Harlem Shake right now. You know, that YouTube sensation that combines electronic music from Baauer with clips of people gyrating in costumes. It’s addictive and has spawned countless imitators and millions of YouTube views.

PR professionals have a Pavlovian response to anything popular. Understanding the public is what we do. So when a video goes viral unexpectedly we ask ourselves why and berate ourselves from not being able to see it coming. And, of course, we wonder how we can replicate and leverage this level of notoriety for clients. How can we get the goose of YouTube to lay golden eggs at our command? Read more

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YouTube Introducing Paid Subscription Model

Are you ready to pay to watch “Gangnam Style” for the 41st time? Don’t worry, you won’t have to do that–but you might be looking at the future of paid video content promotion.

Today YouTube announced plans to follow Facebook in the endless quest for revenue by reaching out to “a small group of channel producers” and asking them to develop paid content channels that would cost users $1-$5 per month for access.

This isn’t a new idea: YouTube execs previously floated theoretical plans to acquire low-rated networks that can’t quite succeed on cable. Proposed content options for these channels include the usual “episodic” programs along with live streaming “pay-per-view”-style events and “self-help or financial advice shows”. Calling Suze Orman

This development could be both a massive spam disaster and a great opportunity for PR/marketing pros to push their clients. What better way to corner your target audience than by using a video channel that caters specifically to their niche demographic? (Football fans, sci-fi nerds, lovers of redneck reality shows…the list is could go on forever.)

PR pros: can you imagine clients starting YouTube pay channels or using them as key promo platforms?

NASA Students Create Educational ‘Gangnam Style’ Parody

NASA wants everyone to know that its staff doesn’t consist of a bunch of stuffy nerds with pocket protectors using joysticks to drive little dune buggies around the surface of Mars while arguing about the quality of CGI in Game of Thrones (which is somewhat disappointing, BTW). Not only do these guys have a sense of humor, they’re also pretty good at being bitchy when refuting tin foil hat/end-of-the-world types.  Who knew?

Now students at NASA’s Johnson Space Center have created a great bit of DIY PR with this “Gangnam Style” parody, designed to “inform the public about the amazing work going on at NASA and the Johnson Space Center.”

We’re just as tired of “Gangnam” parodies as the next blogger, but we’ll let this one slide because it is awesome. Top that, Big Bang Theory.

Billboard Charts Go Digital (Now With Even More Rihanna!)

Rihanna Billboard cover While we focused on superstorms and elections over the past month, a certain famous American business made a big change right under our noses.

Billboard magazine, long seen as the ultimate tastemaker in American pop music for its top singles list, decided to join the 21st century by revising its algorithm to include digital sales and online streaming services like Pandora and Spotify when determining which songs are most popular in a given week.

Sounds like progress, right?

Quite a few people in music don’t think so, because these changes give “stars with a pop-oriented sound and broad crossover appeal an advantage over other artists”. We have to agree: the fact that Psy’s “Gangnam Style” ruled the “rap” charts for more than a month while Taylor Swift continues to dominate the “Hot Country” category tells us that something in this new equation is a little off.

This excellent infographic demonstrates the fact that a mere six artists have all but dominated the Billboard charts over the past five years. According to most predictions, these new algorithms will result in more number one hits for Rihanna, Katy Perry, Maroon 5 and Flo Rida while making the climb to the top of the charts even steeper for independent artists and those who work in “niche” genres like country, rock and roll and, you know, pretty much everything but “pop.”

Billboard’s editorial director Bill Werde defended the changes on his tumblr page, but the whole story is ominous news for the vast majority of those who work in or care about the music business. Some have created petitions urging Billboard to abandon its new model, but based on the puny number of signatures collected so far we can’t see that working.

What do we think? Will these changes make it harder for music reps to promote their clients? How will the industry adjust?

(As a bit of a bonus, here’s Werde talking to Mediabistro’s Donya Blaze about the challenges of music journalism): Read more