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Let Viral Be Viral

July 30th, 2009 87 comments

Imagine this scenario.  You are a major record label and you find that someone just uploaded a video to Youtube featuring a hit song from one of your artists. The knee-jerk reaction from most record labels is to declare copyright violations and have the video removed. Fortunately for Chris Brown and the Record Label: Jive, a different approach was taken.

Using Youtube’s Audio Content ID system the video, “JK Wedding Entrance Dance“ was identified as containing “Forever” by Chris Brown. However, instead of pulling the content Jive Record label capitalized on the viral nature of the video. According to the Official Google Blog, this was the right move:

This traffic is also very engaged — the click-through rate (CTR) on the “JK Wedding Entrance” video is 2x the average of other Click-to-Buy overlays on the site. And this newfound interest in downloading “Forever” goes beyond the viral video itself: “JK Wedding Entrance” also appears to have influenced the official “Forever” music video, which saw its Click-to-Buy CTR increase by 2.5x in the last week.

Source: Official Google Blog

So what’s the lesson here? If someone uses your content, it’s not always a bad thing. We need to fight the knee-jerk reactions to pull everything and ask questions later. According to Google, in the last week, over a year after its release, Chris Brown’s “Forever” has again rocketed up the charts, reaching as high as #4 on the iTunes singles chart and #3 on Amazon’s best selling MP3 list.

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