Monday, November 25, 2013

IASPM: Fandom, Celebrity and Industry

Victor Vicente gave a great paper this morning on viral phenomenons on youtube. He discussed the early days of youtube going back to its original instability when launched as a dating site in 2005 and how after its purchase by Google in November 2006 it became very popular as an educational tool, was used as an archive or repository, offered an ethnographic field to study and became a primary source for music. Victor noted that it is now available in 54 languages with 43 localised versions. In his recent study he concluded that music remains its predominate use with the top 5 videos being commercially produced music videos, indeed 29 of the top 30 videos featured music. Of these, 2 (6%) were user generated with the remaining 28 (94%) being commercially produced). Twenty videos in the top 30 were distributed by VEVO. 

Victor's study concerned hybrid stars - user generated songs/clips that became famous. In particular he looked at 3 case studies - Muhammed Shahid Nazir "One Pound Fish", Psy "Gangnam Style" and Rebecca Black "Friday". After playing the clips he went on to note that common elements in user generated success appear to be: the juxtapositioning of the narrative of an ordinary person with qualities such as irony, kitschiness, flawed masculinity, humour, simplicity, repretitiveness and a whimisical air. A great paper! He's a picture of Victor (and another groovy musicologist, Julie) from last nights conference dinner. 

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