YouTube-ification of the World

YouTube has become a bit of a reflex-buzzword. Wanna look cool? Just throw in a mention. However the true measure of any innovation is whether it changes user’s behaviour. And it’s certainly changed my behaviour.

If I read a story (and its usually floated across my desk through Google Reader) and it catches my imagination, my default reaction is to look for where I can see the event they’re talking about. Suddenly, just ‘reporting’ isn’t enough. I mean what’s the point of this story if you can’t see it?

Camera phones have revolutionised the ability for normo’s (UGC is a crappy phrase, normo’s is much better) to record breaking events. A picture (or video) is worth a thousand words and when aggregated properly (hello Google’s YouTube search) will become a much more compelling sell than the nightly news.

Excellent More4 Pub Quiz Advert

Channel 4’s doing really well on its promotions at the moment. It’s doing a great job of deconstructing its shows and stars, creating new environments for them and then plugging a bigger concept. Over new year the vending machine ad was superb and now they’ve just created a great one for digital station More4.

In it they get to show they’re and intelligent channel by bringing together some of the station’s ‘stars’ into the ultimate pub quiz team. It’s got a funny twist and does a perfect job of giving the channel a friendly, down-to-earth feel. See it below.

From The Basement and Other Good Stuff

There’s so much interesting stuff happening online at the moment, it’s hard to have the time to write all about it. Keep an eye on my ‘other people’s great posts’ link on the right, I often tag stuff for that in the hope i’ll get round to writing about it. But rarely do.
Anyway thanks to Adam Buxton’s blog I heard about a new ‘TV’ show called From The Basement. Except of course it’s not a TV show, well not in the true sense of the word. The idea came from Garth Jennings, Sophie Muller and Adam discussing what would be their ideal type of music show. What they’ve created is a beautifully shot music programme (in HD) that just concentrates on the artist’s performance. No audience, no presenter, just some great artists in a room doing their thing. This gives it a brilliantly unique look and is quite striking to watch.

The other interesting thing about it, is of course, is that it’s not on regular TV, or even digital TV, it’s only available as a download. They’ve been quite clever and have made each track available as a paid download. It’s a bit like watching (and paying for) an acoustic music video, if that makes sense?

I’d love to know more about the business model. As it’s track by track i’m sure there’s a revenue share with the artist/record company, if not, it make’s it even more interesting. However, whether there’s a revenue share or not, it’s a very quality product that’s definitely cost a few quid to make.

It probably fits into a new category of it’s own – premium music. I hope it succeeds.

You can download it from iTunes and 7Digital.

Big Brother and Racism

It’s very easy to knock Big Brother. Ghastly people, d-list celebrities, it’s run its course, lowest-common dominator, blah blah blah blah. I think Big Brother is one of the best programmes on television because it’s a show that prompts actual debate and discussion and it’s actually watched by the most dis-engaged group of people – the young.

The current issue’s all about racism, or suspected racism. Most of the commentators (hello politicians!) haven’t seen the show, or any footage of the issues, there’s views our wonderfully irrelevant. What’s interesting is when you watch, the issue isn’t clean cut. IHas Shilpa been singled out for racial reasons or just because they don’t like her? Or is it just general ignorance? And watching tonight’s show – I couldn’t really tell you the answer.

Anyway, I think it’s great that there’s some ambiguity as it results in a discussion about the issue. This is Big Brother doing what it does best, holding up a mirror to an element of society. I’m not suprised people are condeming the show. However it’s just mainly the people who don’t want to deal with, or talk, about an issue that’s actually worth seeing on screen.

XFM’s Marsha – CRM Goddess

Lovely Marsha from XFM likes music. That is probably the understatement of the year. To give you an idea of her relationship with music, this is a recent line from her weekly-mailer:

Yesterday morning, as I got into my taxi home after the night shift, the driver was listening to Radio 4. Out of courtesy, I said “Do you mind if I put my headphones on?” (cos I wanted to listen to the new Field Music). The driver lowered his eyebrows and said “You’ve just spent five hours listening to music – and you want to listen to *more music?”

I looked at him, in much the same way as I imagine you would have, and said, “It’s my oxygen”.

Then I listened to “In Context” and pondered on how different people can be.

Marsha creates a weekly mail-out that talks about the music she’s been listening to that week, the gigs she’s been to (and the one’s she promoted on-air) and other entertaining things that she wants to share with her listeners. It’s chatty, friendly and passionate and it pops in your inbox once a week. It also serves to increase the connections recipients have about Marsha and probably drives loyalty to her. It also marks her out against all the other passioante music DJs out there. I’m absolutely sure that none of these are reasons that she does it, but these will naturally be some of the results.

It’s a perfect example of well-targeted CRM, something that most companies are bloody awful at. That’s because in consumer’s minds they dislike getting things from evil, faceless companies but absolutely love getting things from real people. This is one of the reason’s why blogging is so well received. Through a blog (even one from a company) you feel that a person is sharing things with you. If you have bought into them as a person, you’re happy to receive marketing messages from them, because you’ve built up some trust.

In marketing nirvana, product managers hope that ‘brands’ and their values can build these kinds of relationships too. It’s bloody difficult to think of many companies that have achieved it. What I don’t understand is that actually they don’t really need to bother, they just need to get a passionate person, like a Marsha, to help build those relationships for them.