Kanye’s Famous Video

Wait a second, isn’t music video dead? Didn’t it bite the dust when MTV went to scripted programming? How many years did we hear musicians bitch about this?

They were completely wrong. Video is bigger than ever. And it’s in your hands as opposed to the gatekeepers’. It’s the same, yet different, as everything is in the future.

This clip is cut from the same cloth as Madonna’s “Sex” book. That’s the appeal, it’ll bring so many looky-loos, but in this case you don’t have to buy it to see it, that’s so last century, it’s free for the taking on the internet. Because in today’s world you don’t charge for everything, you garner your audience and monetize later, like the tech companies.

Now there was a premiere at the Forum. At first I bought the press reaction, to this and the Madison Square Garden reveal, that everybody’s showing up for a non-show. But the truth is when you’re young and dumb with nothing better to do you do. Show up, that is. I remember going to record store in-stores, just to be close to the band. If I were still twenty five I’d pay $25 to go to the Forum. To be part of the experience. Come on, imagine the story you could tell, you could dine out on it for weeks!

And since the Forum is an all music building, little advance planning was necessary. So different from being beholden to sports teams in arenas that view music as a second-class citizen.

And there was little advance notice. When tours go on sale a year ahead of time, locking up that dough, all commerce, this was a whim. It was happening right away. Kanye knows the modern paradigm. Just like advance publicity is history, you don’t want a long lead time, immediacy is everything. And, in a world dominated by screens, hanging with real live people is such a thrill. It’s worth twenty five bucks.

So, you had the event, which was monetized. At a very low price.

And now you’ve got the video.

Unlike in the days of MTV, you can watch it on demand. You don’t have to wait for it to come up. This is what Netflix knows and terrestrial radio doesn’t understand. We want it all and we want it now, and if you aren’t moving your enterprise in that direction you’re headed for the trash bin.

And despite its fame, ratings for MTV were paltry. 100,000 people at a time was de rigueur. Well, right now 70,898 people are simultaneously streaming “Famous” on the feed I’m watching. But they can play it again and again, embed it on social media, spread the word… Today music is a virus, and it can infect broad swaths of the public rapidly.

But then it so frequently burns out. This is a stunt. We won’t be talking about it next month, if we’re even discussing it next week. But that’s okay, Kanye will come up with something else. Whilst radio takes a year to move a track up the chart modern creators know it’s not about reaching every last potential audience member, but satiating the core and moving on.

As for the content, when you marry boobies and fame you’ve hit the jackpot. All but the asexual want to see this clip at least once. Hell, you slow down on the freeway to view an accident, right?

And this is a trainwreck the media can’t avoid covering. The modern media, which has little analysis but loves headlines which generate clicks so they can sell advertising. Kanye is their dream, whether you like him or not.

And Kanye claiming it’s all real just adds fuel to the fire. Come on who would believe this? But the press prints it.

But they won’t tell the story of the up and coming act, unless the performer has an ace PR person. But even if you get ink, there’s no virality, which is the juice that fuels the enterprise today. If it’s not spreading, it’s not happening.

If you were alive back when, when Madonna put out her book, you might claim you’ve seen this before. But not really. Not only is this externally focused, not solely about Kanye in the clip, it’s a demonstration of modern pull, whereas Madonna was all about push. The media and the public are coming to Kanye. Madonna had to push her book down our throats, she’s still utilizing that paradigm, not knowing she appears desperate.

But few can be as hot as Kanye.

But he’s not a creature of the machine, he did all this himself.

That’s what the modern tools will give you.

That’s what the internet provides.

It’s all good, as the kids say.

Watch here:

Kanye West’s “Famous” Video

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