Dramatic “Royalty Free” Music Sites

If you’ve worn out Kevin MacLeod’s Incompetech, but looking for free, royalty-free music here’s a new alternative… some dark, intense, orchestral and dramatic options. Check ’em out: http://www.jewelbeat.com/

Also a bunch more courtesy of YouTube’s BattlefieldDoktor via JourneysofLifeBooks:

http://ccmixter.org (click here to search royalty-free for commercial use tunes)
http://incompetech.com
http://freepd.com
http://www.jamendo.com
http://soundsnap.com
http://theslip.nin.com/
http://www.dance-industries.com
http://www.tbtmusic.com
http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/
http://www.audionautix.com
http://www.music4yourvids.co.uk
http://www.nathanwillsmusic.com

Let’s Create a Source for Free Royalty-Free Music

Let’s help build a killer index for FREE royalty-free music. Ever search for free music online? How about royalty-free music? It’s hard to find good stuff. Now let’s complicate it further. Free, royalty-free music? Nearly impossible.

But the need is there, and the benefit is high for:

  1. Viewers/listeners: Who can discover new talent, and enjoy videos without hearing the same ridiculous loops from every editing software package.
  2. Video creators: Who can stick to what they do best, but create better videos with the help of talented usicians.
  3. Musicians: Who can gain exposure from the large audiences of video creators. What a great way to market your work. If I was a musician, I’d certainly offer a few songs for free (in exchange for credit), and I’d market myself to popular video creators in hope that they’d use my tunes and credit me. I do this often, but it helps when musicians are aggressive (and talented).

Kevin MacLeod, the infamous talent behind Incompetech.com, has changed YouTube forever by offering his music for free AND royalty-free use. That means we “partners” can use it without fear of the copyright police. We want to use good music (not just our own attempts to score via Garageband or other layman tools.

Offering free music, of course, is a generous gesture by MacLeod and others, but also a brilliant marketing strategy. As I’ve written before, I’ve commissioned custom music from MacLeod to thank him… and he was fair on price, excellent in quality, and extremely fast in turnaround. It put MacLeod on the map, and is a smart strategy for any talented musician looking for fast and free exposure.

Kevin’s friend Frank Nora is offering HOURS of his music without any cost and for royalty free use. He doesn’t ask for credit, which makes me want to credit him even more! Kevin has a few other friends who have taken his approach to marketing their talent. I hope to include their websites to this post.

Are you aware of other musicians who offer their music for free? Let’s create a one-stop showcase for them, and see if we can push it up on Google for searches for “royalty-free free music” or “free royalty-free music.” If it already exists, please let me know!

Currently Google searches like those yield a lot of websites that promise it, but are actually selling really cheesy, outdated collections of canned gunk. The kind of thing that is almost bad enough for a parody of a corporate video, but not quite bad enough.

Thanks musicians! Thanks video creators that help publicize these talented musicians and make videos that are more fun to watch. And thanks to you WillVideoForFood peeps that can help make it easier to find ’em.

Best Super Bowl Ads of 2010

Last year my video roundup of the best Superbowl ads was seen more than 7 million times, so I kinda had to make a sequel. Since this year’s theme (for both aired videos and those banned) seemed to be about guys being gay or wearing underwear, it felt right to use “I Wear No Pants” (used in the Shazam Dockers ad and written by The Poxy Baggards).

Want to see how the ads were rated? Check out USAToday’s Ad Meter, see Advertising Age’s Report, or watch them all at YouTube’s AdBlitz channel.

Free Tools. No Ads. We Make It Up in Volume.

Daisy Whitney gave two examples of companies shifting from a free to paid model. I agree that “training the customers early to pay” is good advice, but I also like other model… give it away for free, then offer meaningful upsells. For instance, I’d probably pay for Tubemogul because it saves me the hassle of visiting a number of online sites to distribute and track my videos. Likewise, I just upped my YouSendIt account to a monthly fee… it’s got a 2 GB limit (and I was always just a little to bloated for the free one), and it remembers my e-mails.

So yes “train customers early to pay” but “free” is a good marketing tool. The trick is to develop value-add additions once you have a regular user base. Oh- and note Daisy’s focus is on B2B.

Charging for online-video content is not a good idea right now unless you’ve got INCREDIBLE content and a major following.

Is Yahoo TV Closing or Widening Chasm Between Online Video & Television?

Yahoo TV Verizon sponsoredWhich online-video site is mostly likely to be part of the bridge between television and the Internet? You can fault the model, and question it’s sustainability. But Yahoo TV is well poised to leverage its partnerships with Verizon and TiVo to start serving its bite-sized video content via television sets equipped with broadband boxes.

Take, for example, Yahoo TV’s “Prime Time in No Time,” a show hosted by Frank Nicotero that recaps the prior evening’s television shows. It’s interesting on at least two levels:

  1. It appeals to TV junkies. I’m not sure there’s a market for general prime-time recaps (since audiences tend to form around tighter niches). But it’s clearly targeted at TV viewers who maybe need some hand holding to start consuming via Yahoo’s mini-TV play. With some prime time promotion, I can see this audience growing.
  2. The ad model is interesting. Verizon gets a brief intro (not a preroll that I noticed), some banner wrap-arounds, and even a logo tucked nicely in the host’s corner frame. It’s dominant without being obtrusive.

Yahoo Menu No Amateur VideoSo we’re still in the infancy of the “TV and online video” collision, which is clearly going to take much more time than we hoped. I’m far less interested in television administered in once-a-day pills (instead of intravanious drips). I find the more fascinating side to be the amateur creators gaining broader exposure than they currently get (assuming they’re good enough, and have consistent content that appeal to steady audiences even if relatively small).

While YouTube is still better poised for the latter, Yahoo comes at the web more like AOL: looking more like TV on the computer than web video as most consume it now. So we see less and more polished content, but fairly superficial interaction between the content and its audience. It’s still “one to many” unlike the magic of online video “many to many” play.

It’s Amazon not eBay.

As an example, one of my few popular videos on Yahoo has 90K views but just 90 comments. While one in a thousand comment on Yahoo Video, most of my YouTube videos get 1-2 percent of viewers commenting. My Mac Air spoof got 27K views with 13 comments, while the same Mac Air spoof on YouTube got 374K views and 1564 comments.

Typically the initial online successes are “pure plays” and not an offline entity moving in. This is true with almost any industry: gaming, retail, travel and media. But it will take a few failures along the way. YahooTV is bringing TV and online video ever so slightly closer together — even if it ends up being a log over the river.

Note that Yahoo Video (the quasi amateur section) still exists, but it’s not part of the primary menu on Yahoo. In fact, I almost gave up in my search for it, so it’s not likely drawing in many Yahoo users (Alexa won’t let me isolate http://video.yahoo.com/ from Yahoo.com, so I don’t know how it’s fairing). The featured videos seem to get paltry views relative to YouTube features, and even the Yahoo Video Awards blog post has just 35 comments 4 days after announced (by contrast, most top 100 YouTubers get that kind of views and interactions within an hour of posting).

P.S. Updated 3/27: Check out what InsideOnlineVideo has to say about Yahoo.

Politics and Viral: McCain and Obama Music Video Parodies

yes we can no we can’t mccain obama music video parodyThis is the year where viral video will, no doubt, shape the election. And while this blog cannot possibly keep up on the political satire that’s overtaking YouTube, this one felt worth a mention.

Barack Obama’s speech inspired this music video featuring Black Eyed Peas. It’s called “Yes We Can.”

That spawned Election08 (comedians in LA) to produce a music video called “John He Is.” And here’s another parody by BarelyPolitical called “John McCain: No You Can’t.”

Candidly, I’m laughing more at the amazingly simple video by BarelyPolitical that features John McCain prank calling Hillary Clinton with a burp and a fart. Now that’s political humor for the common denominator.