music – Stay N Alive

Universal Media Group Just Doesn’t Get It

This is a guest-post by my brother, Luke Stay.  Follow him on Twitter / FriendFeed.


I do a semi-regular segment on called Favorite Video Friday in which I showcase 3 innovative or otherwise interesting music videos bound by a common theme. They’re my favorite posts to do and also my most well received. I’ve done 43 of them so far, all but a few of them containing 3 videos each, but every time I think I’ve run out of good videos, I stumble on a few more.

YouTube is my source of choice, mostly because of its popularity and massive database of artists both popular and obscure, but in my never-ending search for quality music videos I often come upon one with “embedding disabled by request.” Nine times out of ten, that video is claimed by Universal Media Group. This always puts me in a difficult position. Do I scrap the video that fits so perfectly with the weeks theme, or do I go elsewhere and find the video on a site not as regulated as YouTube?

Universal Media Group has completely missed the point of YouTube. YouTube is a social network. It is a place to discover interesting videos and discuss them. I’ve found that my meager number of regular readers are a lazy bunch. They don’t click on links to watch videos elsewhere. They want to watch the video then and there, embedded right within the site. If they like it, then they’ll seek out ways to share it with others, usually through YouTube. On the internet, you only have seconds to grab a reader’s attention, and external links do nothing to help you. I have to embed my videos.

I don’t know why they do it. They can’t claim they lose ad revenue when their videos are embedded externally. YouTube now allows embedded ads and most of Universal’s artists already have pop-ups to buy the track on Amazon or ITunes. Embedding does nothing to stop this. I’m not going to claim this practice hurts their business, Universal’s artists are mostly well known, but it certainly doesn’t help them. I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten comments on a post I’ve done telling me that a person had never heard of a band or a song and they were going to go buy the track. After the recent suggestion of Marina Martin, I even added links to buy the featured tracks on ITunes (If anyone knows an easy way to add graphical buttons, I’m listening). Allowing videos to be embedded only increases the scope of your visibility. How can that possibly hurt your business? I don’t get it.

I wish I could boycott Universal Music Group altogether, but they just represent too many artists. If I want to keep up 3 videos a post, I need as many videos to choose from as I can get. Instead, I’ll just be forced to keep finding their videos elsewhere, often bringing them no ad revenue whatsoever. It’s a mild pain in my butt, but (I just said butt but, hehe) I’m sure Universal spends massive amounts of money searching for copyright infringements that could be avoided by simply enabling embedding on YouTube. Get with the program, Universal!

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Heart and Soul

Heart and soul, I fell in love with you,
lost control, the way a fool would do,
Because you held me tight,
And stole a kiss in the night..

Heart and soul, I begged to be adored,
Lost control, and tumbled overboard,
That magic night we kissed,
There in the moon mist.

Oh! but your lips were thrilling, much too thrilling,
Never before were mine so strangely willing.

But now I see, what one embrace can do,
Look at me, it’s got me loving you,
That little kiss you stole,
Held all my heart and soul.

Original Photo (Jesse Stay)
Poem/Song Lyrics by Frank Loesser