Sort of an old story: NBC freaks out over Lazy Sunday meme. Dude, COME ON. That was the first thing I’d seen off SNL besides Ashlee Simpson’s jig (and the Goth Talk sketch featuring Sarah Michelle Gellar, which is hilarious) in like five years. NBC should be stoked that anyone is even talking about SNL at all, and they should be doing everything they can to facilitate that.
Two things here:
1. YouTube has reached critical mass really, really quickly. Like twenty times quicker than any other site I can remember recently. It’s because it works, and because the users have been uploading a storm of pirated, rare, old, and interesting content. It’s also a sea of some of the stupider memes I’ve seen lately. Browse the top videos and you’ll see stuff that looks like a 15 year old in Montecito filmed something on their desk with their phone’s camcorder. Because they did. Anything on the front page is guaranteed to sit there for at least a day or so, because popularity begats popularity.
(Favorite current YouTube video: Prince on American Bandstand, 1980. Thanks Salah!)
2. This is sort of an endless discourse, isn’t it? In this corner, we have true viral marketing, which isn’t designed by hipster boutique agencies, doesn’t have built-in DRM and isn’t easily trackable or controllable. In the other corner, we have Big Media, sweating and shaking that they might not be able to wring every single cent out of one of their tired “content properties.”
You can’t have both, dudes: either lock down your “marketing” and take every snippet of fun out of it (have you seen how shitty iTunes video is on most machines?), or have a successful marketing campaign. Users don’t send each other jittery, shuddering video wrapped in crippleware, and they don’t pay $2 for a 2 minute clip.
(Speaking of, I bought the whole second season of My Super Sweet 16 (SHUT UP) on iTunes and whoa, was that a waste of cash. The video is unwatchable on my machine, my iPod is a 3G (it doesn’t play video) and I can’t find any sort of shareware or opensource app that will play the bizarre m4v iTunes standard. The one time I pay for something rather than torrenting it and it doesn’t work. Back to downloading episodes of Beauty and the Geek. AGAIN: PAYING FOR CONTENT HAS TO BE MORE COMPELLING THAN DOWNLOADING IT FOR FREE. I am not sure why this is such a bitter pill to swallow.