« The Goth in development writes in the first person singular | Main | Twitter misadventure at H&R Block »

October 06, 2010


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Radiohead and crowdsourced video:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Len Cercone

Seems like a modern version of the Dead's taping pit. I agree (as usual) with you David that companies need to embrace, and not hinder, content sharing. A similar issue has been raised with "deal" websites like http://blackfriday.gottadeal.com where companies threaten legal action when holiday ads are leaked. C'mon! Legal action for reaching your most enthusiastic consumers? Foolish.


It's an amazing video and a great example of the power of the social web.

Ron Blau

You bring up a fascinating tradeoff. Of course the video quality will be worlds better with a professional crew and director--witness some of the superb concert coverage on PBS and other networks. But the participatory energy blazes through the crowdsourced Radiohead video. And you can see enough detail to make it a satisfying experience. (Significantly, they didn't crowdsource the sound, which would have been a turnoff, but sound is another subject.) Pro versus participant--you've gotta decide on a case-by-case basis which is better for your video.

Jake LaCaze

Ah, you have me reminiscing about seeing Radiohead on that awesome night in Dallas...but that's not what this is about.

One thing that helps is that Radiohead has continued to make music that people PASSIONATE about. We hear over and over that you should make compelling content, and in the music world, Radiohead has done that.

Fans feel a deep connection with the band, so I would argue that the fans who are dedicated enough to engage in such a project are going to do their best to make the project as good as possible.

This, along with their experimentation with selling their album In Rainbows, shows that Radiohead is a forward-thinking band in terms of marketing and promotion as well.

David Meerman Scott

Ron - thanks for jumping in. As a video pro, I appreciate your thoughts.

Len - Modern Dead taping pit. Nice!

Jake - Absolutely! Without passion, nothing.

Jamie Mordaunt

This is a great idea and it's been executed very well.

Of course a professional cameraman will be a bit snooty about all these 'amateurs' getting together in this way, but if the end result is still interesting (and it is) then he can't really complain.

The crowdsourced video gives us a different experience to that which the professionals would produce: what it was actually like to be in the crowd at the Radiohead gig.

Just like the real experience it's not perfect; it's shaky and a bit blurry and people get in the way and you can't always see all the action up close, but that's what makes it authentic and interesting to anyone who was in the crowd that night or (like me) wishes he was...

Kudos to Radiohead (very talented compatriots of mine) for giving this project their blessing and the professionally recorded soundtrack.

Dave Huffman

Man, oh man do I ever know about the snooty pro camera man and how he feels about the Flip type cameras :)

I work for a media/broadcasting training program and sometime a few months ago I put together an eBook on "Shooting Better Video Using a Flip".

I caught a lot of flack from pro types.

Which surprised me a bit. I figured as a know it all expert, one would recognize the value of these little cameras as part of one's camera tool-kit.

Either way - I stand by the fact that in the right context - video quality doesn't matter overall.

It's the STORY that wins.

In fact, in the Radiohead example above, if there were a pro crew, there wouldn't even be a story there at all - just some great concert video that we've seen 100 times before.


Ron Carter

What an amazing idea! I enjoyed watching the video. It seemed so organic and fresh. Wish I was there.

Bob James

I'm a communicator who loves the strategic use of video. As such, I'm sympathetic to the hostile cameraman's viewpoint.

Please let me explain why.

By pointing to the few—and very few—examples of successful "business casual video" and pronouncing the idea a winner, you are unleashing a Frankenstein.

No question: it's cheap and easy to produce.

The problem? It's cheap and easy to produce.

As a result, most home-grown video is garbage. It isn't authentic. It's only sleep-inducing. Which leads me to ask...

Is It Real or is It Sominex?

I'm old enough to recall great TV ads that asked, "Is It Real or is It Memorex?" I'm also old enough to recall great TV ads for the sleep-aid Sominex. (Hell, I'm old enough to recall when Eisenhower was President. By the way, Ike was a Muslim.)

The vast majority of business casual videos fall on the opposite end of the advertising spectrum. They're cheesy TV.

That's because technology—in the hands of amateurs—cannot compensate for amatuerism.

Cheap technology, moreover, only encourages amateurism to spread, like a plague.

I'm afraid the marketing world is in for another five-year Dark Age similar to the second half of the 1980s (another era I'm old enough to recall).

That's when "desktop publishing" first appeared.

Desktop publishing placed a thousand typefaces into the hands of unschooled hordes and set back graphic design and visual communication 200 years.

Overnight, professional graphic designers were deemed "slow" and "expensive" and we found ourselves inundated by home-grown print ads, flyers, banners and brochures that looked like wanted posters from 1800.

In the long term, desktop publishing was a boon. But it took five years for graphic designers to seize the reigns again and for corporate executives to say, "Enough of this crap!"

In the short term, desktop publishing was a beast unloosed on the land.

Business casual video, I'm afraid, will repeat that history.

David Meerman Scott

Bob - thanks for the thoughtful comment. I recall much of what you do except Eisenhower -- that's too far back for me.

While I understand where you're coming from, I'm not talking about "advertising" here. I'm talking about videos created to convey information. Of course if I am buying expensive air time on television I'll have a TV ad quickly produced. But online video is not advertising.

This video interview with GM vice chairman Bob Lutz is recorded with a Flip. http://vimeo.com/6717356 Is it high quality? No. Is it valuable? I've been told it is. Would I pay to put it on TV as an ad? Of course not.

Thanks again for the comment.

Nick Altrup

I love it! Radiohead is proving (once again) that they are on the cutting edge in so many ways. From their genre-bending (or genre-creating) music, to releasing "In Rainbows" on their website and instructing users to pay what they feel is appropriate, to this.

David, does Radiohead remind you of the Grateful Dead in this way? I'm not a Grateful Dead fan, so I wouldn't know.

Can't wait to see Radiohead live again. They don't come to Missouri often, however.

David Meerman Scott

Nick - What Radiohead is doing in 2010 is what the Grateful Dead would have done if they were active today. And I'd imagine that if Radiohead were around pre-Web like the Dead (active 1965 - 1995) they would have been offline pioneers too.


I really enjoy the band's guerrilla tactics to give their fans a greater connection to the band.

Nick Altrup


Thanks for your reply. I really enjoyed the topic.


wowo What an amazing idea! I enjoyed watching the video. It seemed so organic and fresh. Wish I was there.thank

The comments to this entry are closed.


Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz

follow me

David Meerman Scott books

I want to speak at your next event!


David Meerman Scott e-books

David's iPhone and iPad apps

Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 12/2004