I really don't get the content industry sometimes. I mean, I do - insomuch that occasionally I can flip my perspective and sort of see things from their world view in which they live in a world in which they don't really understand why the things that work for them actually work and thus they fear change no matter how illogical some of their arguments are.
As a case in point - music videos on YouTube. Music videos are adverts. Sure, ever since "Thriller" there's been the chance that you can monetise these adverts in non standard ways but still, they're adverts. The raison d'etre of adverts is to be seen by as many people as possible yet the idea that people might virally pass around music videos appears to scare the living bejesus out of the Recording Industry who, perversely, also spend millions trying to promote viral content.
Despite these self evident contradictions - and in the face of persistent and compelling evidence that new technology that aids distribution only helps content producers and that, perversely, those who "pirate" more music are also overwhelmingly more likely to both spend more money on legitimate content and eulogise, proselytize and generally act like authentic but unpaid brand ambassdors - there seems to be this gnawing pain amongst these people that someone, somewhere might be not be paying them money.
This manifests itself in the archives of the 100+ 90s Music Monday posts I've done being littered with "This content is no longer available" and "Embedding is disabled by request". Let's face it - these incoherent ramblings, as sad and nerdy as they are, basically represent one long unrequited love letter to an industry which appears to hate me. It's a sonnet composed to an abusive relationship.
I was pleasantly surprised recently to find that "Night Swimming" by REM had a video. It seemed like a somewhat unlikely choice for a single and, despite it being my favourite song off "Automatic for the People" I don't remember seeing the video in my youth. Sure it's the drowsiest of all the songs on a well crafted yet somewhat morbidly soporific album - made in the period where REM had soaked up all their angst and anger using copious wads of thousand dollar bills. By all accounts it was supposed to be a much harder rocking album but the direction was changed early on - perhaps the mega success of the acoustic influenced "Out Of Time" made boat rocking an unappealing prospect.
Anyway - the video is available here on 'remhq' on You Tube. You'll have to click through because apparently the thought that the consumer might not be able to be corralled into a tightly controlled media 'experience' is an anathema.
Instead you get "Everybody Hurts" - a song which I felt like I ought to like but which for some reason rubbed me up the wrong way, like it had been genetically engineered in lab and focussed grouped to death in order to be just emo enough. One more pinch of soaring strings, the video of cinematically compelling 'ordinary people' all with their own little burden in life, the crescendo of everyone getting out of their cars to be free of ... something, that slightly too pat fake Newscast at the end for just the right sprinkling of verité ...