I want my, I want my, I want my OMV (Online Music Video)… Yes, that’s right! Popular music videos are about to make a comeback, not on the original music TV station per se, but on the most popular online video web site, YouTube. With just a quick query search and a click of the mouse, you will have the opportunity to view and listen to musical legends such as The Eagles or ever-evolving artists such as Coldplay and Madonna.
As of September 29, 2009, Warner Music Group announced that they struck a deal with YouTube to ultimately bring its artists back to YouTube’s massive online video market. In August, YouTube accounted for nearly 10 billion of the 25 billion viewed online videos, according to ComScore. Google sites, primarily YouTube, currently represent 40 percent of all videos viewed online.
This deal is another example of how powerful the internet can be as a distribution medium. Similar to well-established newspapers and television companies, the music industry has been forced to change its business model that has existed for decades. As Warner Music Group quickly discovered, their historical model was not the perfect fit for the internet, nor was it capitalizing on the full benefits.
For example, Warner Music Group’s previously strict copyright laws required approval before allowing any use of its videos or songs in movies or on radio and TV. Last year, they demanded that YouTube pull down its videos based on licensing disagreements. As we all know, the internet makes it very easy to copy and re-distribute information. The public can literally post a copy of a video at any time and under any name. To ensure that the copyrighted Warner Music Group videos were not appearing on YouTube, I would assume both companies had to invest considerable resources to monitor and remove videos as they appear on YouTube’s site.
By allowing YouTube to post Warner Music Group’s videos, not only will it free up time and costs, but it will also open the door to the enormous, growing online video market. In August, comScore reported 161 million U.S. internet users watched online video during the month, the largest audience ever recorded (81.6 percent of the total U.S. internet audience viewed online video). This is not only a large audience but a highly active and engaged audience, watching nearly 10 hours of video in the month of August alone.
Warner Music Group’s partnership with YouTube will enable more innovative ways to market their industry. For example, YouTube offers viewers the ability to buy a song directly from an artist’s music video. The YouTube music videos have a small, unobtrusive pop-up advertisement at the bottom of the screen as shown below.
This simple method of purchasing music on YouTube is a big deal in itself. The question web users may want to consider right now is the true value of this quick and easy purchase– would it be worth it for a user to spend hours searching various sites for a copy of an MP3 to download that could be at risk of being illegal, or would it be easier to just click a button on YouTube and spend $1.29 to immediately obtain a compliant copy of the MP3? This addition should make YouTube even more attractive to music distributors, such as Warner Music Group, as more and more people decide that the choice for immediate and legal music is the best option.
As evident in the increased growth and demand for online videos, the audiences have spoken loud and clear, “they want their online music video (OMV)!” It’s now time for Warner Music Group to turn up the volume and deliver its artists’ music videos to their adoring fans.
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