Tuesday, 4 November 2014

UGC: A Look at AWOLNATION's Sail

While researching for my Video Research Blog, I discovered the video for AWOLNATION's 'Sail'. The video itself is a narrative/performance video (but could be argued as a concept), about a man and his attempts to find the illuminati. You can watch it here:

The original video, however, has been out-done by a fan-made video, done by popular YouTubers Tessa Violet (Meekakitty) and Shawna Howson (Nanalew). Who have a combined subscriber total of 1,567,164 (that is 1,000,022 and 567,142 respectively) However, their creation of a video for sail has 130,000,000+ views, compared to the (roughly) combined total (as it has been on the AWOLNATION official channel, awolnationvevo, and red bull records) 60,000,000 times. While there may be a number of factors at play here, such as the fact that the official video has moved around so much, this is nevertheless a very surprising achievement.

Here is the fan-made video:

Judging the videos, one might think that they would stand fairly equal chance, with Nanalew's having the inane humour to it, but AWOLNATION's featuring references to the illuminati and being backed by their record label, so perhaps appearing higher owing to some feature of google's algorithm. But the popularity of Nanalew's version has even led it to be the very thing that appears when googling the track.
Nanalew's version appears to be favoured even by google...

This is a very unique case, and I, personally cannot think of a time where this has happened. And all top 3 of the most viewed youtube videos being taken up by music videos. In fact, aside from 'Charlie bit my finger -again!', the top 30 most viewed videos are all music videos, and the official ones at that. The true reason as to why this video has succeeded so much is very hard to pin point, Perhaps it has succeeded owning to it's lack of plot, it's complete pointlessness, the 'surprise twist' or the family friendliness. The inability to pinpoint the reason as to the success of this video perhaps encompasses what McDougall was talking about when they suggested the inability to conceive media audience as a stable, identifiable group.

The success of this video could be placed down to web 2.0, The video has been created by consumers, who made a video they enjoy themselves and so think others enjoy too. This video truly demonstrates the power of web 2.0. Comparatively amateur, independent film, video, music and TV makers can stand their ground against major corporations, while this may take time and luck, this video shows that it is in no way impossible.

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