Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Today in stupid: The Grammys

Unfortunately, finding media and advertising companies who do things that aren't in keeping with the times (pun!) is like shooting fish in a barrel. Still, you have to hand it to the Grammys for attaining a level of cluelessness rarely reached even by the dumbest old media company. Sunday night's show was the best-rated in about a decade; the performances are essentially music videos, but as AllThingsD's Peter Kafka points out, you can't get any of the performances online, unless you happen to go on YouTube during the nanosecond before an illegally-loaded clip gets pulled down.

Come to think of it, this isn't the first year where I've tried to find Grammy clips during the morning after. The best I could do today was a 7-second clip on the HuffPo of Christina Aguilera falling down after the show's Aretha Franklin tribute, and a brief look at Gwyneth Paltrow and Cee Lo Green in one of the stranger duets in a show full of them.

The Grammys refusal to post clips of the show is impossible to understand on several levels:

1. There's a huge appetite to see parts of the program the next day, either because you couldn't believe what you saw the first time or because you want to know what you missed.
2. Video clips like those on the Grammys are extremely monetizable. Do you know how easy it should be to sell some pre-roll before a Grammy musical performance? Hell, call Chrysler and get them to buy the pre-roll before Eminem's performance!
3. Once the show is over, the content is more or less worthless, unless, of course, you notice that this thing called the Internet could keep the content paying dividends for quite some time. We're used to the cannibalization arguments that often are the reason content producers are cautious about distributing their shows on the Web. But in this case it just doesn't apply.

According to Kafka, the Grammys are citing some mealy-mouthed stuff about the complications over rights as the reason why these clips aren't in broad, revenue-producing circulation. Whatever. Though I'm not saying much that Kafka didn't say already, I would like to at least take the extra step of giving the show an award: Grammys -- you're the winner of today in stupid!

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