One of the world’s most remarkable modern musicians is someone whom you’ve almost certainly never heard of. And yet he’s hiding in plain sight on YouTube.
Israeli artist Kutiman burst onto the international music scene in early 2009 with a mashup album, Thru You, composed entirely of video snippets posted by other YouTubers. In the day it was a viral hit, charting about 1 million views.
YouTube and Kutiman have come a long, long way since then.
We’re just a few weeks away from PSY’s Gangnam Style video reaching the uncharted height of 2 billion views. This is a remarkable feat. for any number of reasons. Gangnam Style is the most popular video in history, and the first to hit 1 billion views–On Dec. 21st, 2012. Justin Bieber’s Baby is the #2 most popular YouTube video of all time, and is unlikely to hit 1 billion views before Jan.1, 2014.
We live in an era of massively viral content. Getting any piece of content to 1 million views is an extraordinary feat, but publishers like BuzzFeed and UpWorthy are able to do so consistently. They’ve cracked the viral code, but they and PSY are beneficiaries of a tidal shift.
Something is very different about the way we consume and share content in 2013, than way back in 2009. The number of iPhones, tablets and Internet-enabled devices we carry with us today has a lot to do with it. As humans we crave stories. Our phones and smart devices are communications tools, but beyond all else, they are story delivery platforms.
This was made clear to me when I arrived home from SXSW this year, and observed in a new way how everyone was pecking away at their smart phones. We’re addicted to our phones for starters. We’re also much more comfortable sharing content then we ever were before. And the social sharing infrastructure functions like a well-oiled machine.
When Kutiman launched Thru You in 2009,Twitter was just getting off the ground, Pinterest (the secret web traffic juggernaut) was in an experimental stage, Tumblr was just for the cool kids, and LinkedIn was the place where resumes went to die.
The social media landscape is ever-changing, and will only continue to improve for content producers, startups and businesses that are ready to position themselves as thought leaders.
While the influx of content means there will be even more competition for people’s scarce attention, this also restores the value of time-tested public relations channels, and opens the door for brilliant event hacking for startups.
So when you’re thinking about a public relations strategy for your business, just remember that content is still King, Queen, and the whole court.
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