Pop Culture

No music video needed for YouTube success

When Ludacris’ manager wanted to create buzz for his client’s upcoming CD, he went directly to YouTube.com. But instead of releasing a flashy video for Ludacris’ song “Let’s Stay Together,” Chaka Zulu just uploaded the track directly to the site with a just picture of the rapper as accompaniment.

“You actually get to visualize the music,” said Zulu, who is also co-founder of Ludacris’ Disturbing tha Peace label. “Even if it’s not a real video, music is emotion. Music has a concept and theme.”

Though YouTube is known as the Internet’s greatest video warehouse, it’s becoming known as the place to find new music, no video needed. Put in the name of your favorite artist and there’s chance that besides an assortment of their videos, you’ll find a song with perhaps just a picture or a montage of photos to accompany it — and it still gets thousands of views.

If anyone wants to hear Akon’s remake of Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Starting Something,” it’s there. Someone yearning for the new Guns N’ Roses track “Shackler’s Revenge” or T.I.’s new release “Live Your Life” featuring Rihanna, all it takes is a quick search of their name and song title. No problem. While some of the songs are posted directly by an artist’s camp, others are uploaded by fans eager to share and discuss new music by their favorite act.

DJ Sickamore, who was director of A&R at Atlantic Records for two years and now has his own entertainment management company, says YouTube is a simpler way to listen to music on the Internet.

“Other file hosting sites have too many steps,” said DJ Sickamore. “If I like a song, I can hear it instantly without any problems. You definitely have to take advantage of this tool.”

Zulu first noticed the power of YouTube sans video two years ago when he posted Ludacris’ song “War with God” with just the rapper’s picture as a visual on the site. Soon after, Zulu’s BlackBerry was bombarded with text messages.

“It had the Internet going crazy,” recalled Zulu. “I was getting tons of messages about how they loved it. I didn’t know that many people heard it.

“It’s a viable marketing tool for us now,” he added.

‘A chance to see someone else’s take on my music’Country star Taylor Swift has also caught on. For the upcoming November release of her sophomore CD “Fearless,” Swift, along with her label, hopes to create a picture or video montage for each of the CD’s tracks for YouTube. So far, she’s enjoyed checking out the fan-created postings of her songs on YouTube.

“It’s like having another video,” said Swift, 18. “For me, it’s a chance to see someone else’s take on my music. I embrace that and think it’s cool.”

It’s easy to see the benefits YouTube offers: It gets millions of views per day, according to the site. In addition, by posting a song on YouTube, it creates excitement in a low-cost way, compared to other promotional methods, such as sending out crop of street team members to various local nightclubs or other events.

“You can do mass advertising for every song through one click,” gospel artist Tye Tribbett said. He and his choir Greater Anointing, who have had their songs posted on YouTube, had strong success on the Billboard gospel charts with the album “Stand Out” this year.

Still, there are downsides, such as having an unreleased track floating on the Web before a label approves of its release.

“It’s a double-edge sword for us,” said David Bell, director of digital marketing at the Zomba Label Group, which includes Jive Records, home to Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, Ciara and Britney Spears, among others. Despite the potential of releasing songs first on YouTube, he said advertising on the radio is still a preferred method.

  • Slideshow Photos

    Neil P. Mockford / GC Images

    Image: Celebrity Sightings On The Set Of 'A Hundred Streets' - August 8, 2014

    Celebrity Sightings

    Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. on the "Let's Be Cops," red carpet, Selena Gomez is immortalized in wax and more.

  • Image: Celebrity Sightings On The Set Of 'A Hundred Streets' - August 8, 2014

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Idris Elba -

    Actor Idris Elba seen on the set of :A Hundred Streets" on Aug. 8 in London.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Premiere Of RADiUS-TWC's "The One I Love" - Red Carpet

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Elisabeth Moss, Mark Duplass -

    Actors Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass arrive at the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" at the Vista Theatre on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Premiere Of RADiUS-TWC's "The One I Love" - Red Carpet

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Nick Kroll -

    Actor Nick Kroll arrives at the premiere of RADIUS-TWC's "The One I Love" at the Vista Theatre on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: BESTPIX: Premiere Of Twentieth Century Fox's "Let's Be Cops" - Red Carpet

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Damon Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson -

    Actors Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson arrive at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Cast member D'Arcy poses at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" in Hollywood

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    James D'Arcy -

    James D'Arcy arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Reuters / Reuters
  • Image: BESTPIX: Premiere Of Twentieth Century Fox's "Let's Be Cops" - Arrivals

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Julianne Hough -

    Actress Julianne Hough arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Premiere Of Twentieth Century Fox's "Let's Be Cops" - Arrivals

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Hannah Simone -

    Actress Hannah Simone arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Premiere Of Twentieth Century Fox's "Let's Be Cops" - Red Carpet

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Nina Dobrev -

    Actress Nina Dobrev arrives at the premiere of "Let's Be Cops" at the Cinerama Dome on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Nicole Murphy, Brandy Norwood -

    TV personality Nicole Murphy and singer Brandy Norwood attend The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Tara Reid -

    Actress Tara Reid attends The Pump Group VIP Cocktail Reception at W Hollywood on Aug. 7 in Hollywood.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: "Phoenix" Opening Night

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    James Wirt, Julia Stiles -

    Actors James Wirt and Julia Stiles stand on stage during the opening night curtain call for "Phoenix" at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Aug. 7 in New York.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: "Phoenix" Opening Night

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    AnnaSophia Robb -

    Actress AnnaSophia Robb attends the opening night performance of "Phoenix" at the Cherry Lane Theatre on Aug. 7 in New York.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: BESTPIX: Madame Tussauds New York To Unveil New, Never-Before-Seen Selena Gomez Wax Figure

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Selena Gomez -

    A boy gives the wax figure of Selena Gomez a kiss at the unveiling of the new new, never-before-seen Selena Gomez wax figure at Madame Tussauds New York on Aug. 7 in New York.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: BESTPIX: Chris Martin Visits "The Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show"

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Chris Martin -

    Chris Martin of Coldplay performs during the Elvis Duran Z100 Morning Show at Z100 Studio on Aug. 7 in New York.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: BESTPIX: Apple Store Soho Presents: Meet the Actors: Michael Fassbender And Domhnall Gleeson - "Frank"

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Michael Fassbender -

    Actor Michael Fassbender attends "Meet the Actor" at Apple Store Soho on Aug. 7 in New York.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - August 07, 2014

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Mickey Rourke -

    Actor Mickey Rourke is seen at "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - August 07, 2014

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Jordana Brewster -

    Actress Jordana Brewster waves outisde of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: G. Garvin Live

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Keshia Knight Pulliam -

    Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam attends G. Garvin Live at Buckhead Theatre on Aug. 7 in Atlanta.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Celebrity Sightings In Los Angeles - August 07, 2014

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Reese Witherspoon -

    Actress Reese Witherspoon is seen on Aug. 7 in Los Angeles.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Miley Cyrus

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Miley Cyrus -

    Singer Miley Cyrus performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 7 in Nashville.

    AP / AP
  • Image: 67th Locarno Film Festival - Day 2

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Melanie Griffith -

    Actress Melanie Griffith attends a press conference during the 67th Locarno Film Festival on Aug. 7 in Locarno, Switzerland.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Lily Allen

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Lily Allen -

    Singer Lily Allen performs in concert at Bridgestone Arena on Aug. 7 in Nashville.

    AP / AP
  • Image: "The Expendables 3" Paris Photocall At Cinema UGC Normandie

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    'Expendables 3' -

    The stars of "Expendables 3," from left, Kellan Lutz, Jason Statham, Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes attend "Expendables 3" at Cinema UGC Normandie on Aug. 7 in Paris.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Meet The FilmMakers: "The Rover"

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Robert Pattinson -

    Actor Robert Pattinson speaks during the Meet The Filmmakers event for "The Rover" at Apple Store, Regent Street on Aug. 7 in London.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Celebrity Sightings In New York City - August 07, 2014

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman -

    Actors Nicole Kidman and Jason Bateman are spotted filming Bateman's "The Family Fang" in Westchester, New York, on Aug. 7.

    Getty Images / Getty Images
  • Image: Africa: New Partnership Models For Growth

    Celebrity Sightings

    of

    Akon -

    Grammy-nominated artist Akon, who is the founder of Akon Lighting Africa Project, discusses at the US-Africa Leaders Summit "Africa: New Parnership Models for Growth" news conference, held in Washington, DC, on Aug. 7, the progress that African heads of state have made.

    Getty Images / Getty Images

“It’s another channel for leaked music,” Bell added. “It’s not just peer-to-peer sites anymore. All they’re trying to do is show their love for the artist, but at the end of the day, they’re taking a leaked track and (it’s) just sort of a multiplication of our music.”

Tribbett wasn’t initially keen on his songs being posted without his knowledge either. But now he believes YouTube had a major influence in helping the group’s album become successful one.

“I said to myself, ‘Whoa, hold on. Who put my stuff out before the album even came out?” he recalled. “But I realized that’s the promotion that whet people’s appetites to the point where sales were better because that happened. So, I was like, ‘Well, never mind. Whoever it was, do it again.”’

0:00
 
0:00
Your video begins in
0:00
TOP