Photo source: Wikipedia

Once a video is released on YouTube, the person releasing it loses control over the content. The sound and images might be altered by fans or people just looking to make of the initial video, or of people’s reactions to it. How to’s, remixes, personal takes, jokes and irony, they all grow exponentially the more buzz a video generates. Of course, a band or an artist might go about it the wrong way, trying to control the videos, taking down material that uses their music and leads to copyright infringement.

Or, they can be smart about it, recognize the free publicity they’re getting and the fact that people like their work enough t, o copy it. Gotye did just that a while back – they gathered all fan uploaded content relating to their Somebody that I Used to Know original video, gave them credit on the official website and made a whole new video thanking everyone for their efforts.

The Gotye video has over 300 million views, but the tribute to fans called Sombodies – A YouTube Orchestra also has over 3 million views. There are official videos released by musicians and their labels that don’t get such results in a little less than a month!

Whoever gave Gotye the idea, nice going! Smart PR move and a great way to encourage fans. This is how every brand should look at social media – controlling the message is out of the question. But if people take time to rework what you post, sometimes it really pays off to go along with it!

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