While the world is becoming more digital and social by the minute, it is surprising to think that something as creative as music videos have changed very little since ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’ debuted in 1981. The decline in music album sales is definitely a contributing factor, with artists having less money to spend on a new, risky video formats, but Jets Overhead is out to change that.
A Canadian alternative rock band, Jets Overhead teamed up with NYC-based crossmedia team Murmur in an attempt to create a new spin on the same old music video – make it more social and interactive. Using the song ‘What You Really Want’ from the bands new album, Murmur created a music video that incorporated user-generated fan photos into the video narrative.
Murmur created a website for the curation of the music video that allows fans to upload their own photos for use in the video. Fans hold up hand-drawn signs conveying their innermost desires and ‘what they really want,’ that are then incorporated into the video during the song’s chorus.
The song ‘What You Really Want’ was chosen from the album because, as video director Hal Siegel states,
[it] seemed tailor-made for social media and audience participation. At it’s heart, the song is about being truly honest, which also means facing your fears of ridicule or rejection.
Band singer Antonia Freybe-Smith also adds in an interview with Rolling Stone that,
There’s what your heart wants, what your gut wants, what your head wants and what your body wants. But what we really wanted was to know what you really want.
Using HTML5 and Mozilla Popcorn technology, the website is able to intercut random photos ensuring that the viewing experience is different every time. You can also watch the original video that premiered on Rolling Stone’s website, select photos from an existing fan database, or upload and select your own. This creates a highly shareable and unique spin on the music video fan experience.
This isn’t the first time, however, that Jets Overhead has gone against the music industry norm. For the release of their first album Jets Overhead offered free downloads on their website, simply asking fans to pay what they thought was reasonable
Watch the original video below, or check out the website and make your own.