Friday, July 31, 2009

YouTube Proves it Can Make Money with a Wedding Video, "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" Boosts Sales of Chris Brown's "Forever"

By now, the latest viral video sensation JK Wedding Entrance Dance has amassed more than 13M views on YouTube since it was posted on July 19th and news of its success so been spread far and wide. YouTube blog hailed it as an overnight sensation which resulted in both the video and the song "Forever," by R&B artist Chris Brown going viral. While the married couple Jill Peterson and Kevin Heinz did receive some fame and TV appearances it was the rights holders of the song "Forever" who were able to capitalize on the moment by adding Click-to-Buy links over the video. This created point of sale opportunities to purchase the music track on Amazon and iTunes and helped it rocket back up the charts.

The YouTube blog cited the Click-to-Buy CTR (click-through rate) increased by 2.5x in the last week and 2x the average of other Click-to-Buy overlays on the site. Technical account manager Chris LaRosa said searches of "Chris Brown Forever" also skyrocketed on YouTube making it one of the most popular queries on the site.

LaRosa argued that while many still question "the promotional and bottom-line business value sites like YouTube provide artists", this example clearly demonstrates their value proposition and their main goal "to help content creators effectively make money from the distribution of their content online."

Tim Street noted,
"It’s a shame that this couple from the JK Wedding Entrance Dance viral video in Saint Paul, Minnesota didn’t have a monetization plan in place before this video came out. They could have paid for their wedding already."
Ben Homer asked,
"So it’s great for YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, and the record label. But what about for the content creators? Is free distribution a fair value exchange, I’m not so sure. Your Thoughts?"
While it's a win-win for YouTube, Apple and the record label -- the only ones not making money are the newlyweds. The married couple took a different route than profiting from their fame and took the opportunity to draw attention to the serious issue of domestic violence knowing that Chris Brown, who had severely beat his then-girlfriend Rihanna, was receiving proceeds from the sale of the record. They launched their website, JKweddingdance, and are accepting soliciting donations to the Sheila Wellstone Institute.

On the site the couple said,
"Our experience since we posted the video has been incredible. We would never have expected this response to our wedding entrance in a million years. We hope to direct this positivity to a good cause. Due to the circumstances surrounding the song in our wedding video, we have chosen the Sheila Wellstone Institute. Sheila Wellstone was an advocate, organizer, and national champion in the effort to end domestic violence in our communities."
Congratulations Jill and Kevin!