iJustine’s popular YouTube video makes AT&T change iPhone bill

August 23, 2007

News:  iJustine is featured in today’s NYT for her video spoofing AT&T’s 300 page bill for iPhone service.  Her video, along with other complaints, caused AT&T to come to its senses and stop sending subscribers bills over several hundred pages.

Analysis: Who in their right mind at AT&T ever thought that a 300 page monthly bill would fly?

Update on the EU’s YouTube video of sex scenes

July 5, 2007

News: So all it took was about a day and a half for the EU’s controversial video mashup of different sex scenes from European films to go viral. Apparently, sex plays well. If my memory serves me correct, the video went from a little over 20,000 views on Tuesday to over 2.4 million views! That’s the fastest growing video on YouTube in a 24 hour time span, from what I know.

I still find it hard to believe that the European Commission is responsible for this titillating mashup. As I said before, the video itself is probably PG-13 by U.S. standards. You can judge for yourself here on YouTube.


Off topic, but check out this restaurant review:

Sammy Stephens’ flea market rap on YouTube

July 2, 2007

News:  Sammy Stephens made an ad on YouTube to promote his flea market in Montgomery.  It was all pretty funny until Ellen DeGeneres featured him on her show.  Now, he’s getting not only more customers, but also numerous people and businesses asking to hire him to do their ads.  He’ll be part of a segment on a VH1 show on July 6.  (more)

Esmee Denters update: 21 days, 5 million views

June 25, 2007

News:  Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake just went over the 5 million mark, in 21 days.  That’s just amazing.  I believe the most ever views for an amateur musician video on YouTube.


Update on YouTube’s take down of Smosh Pokemon video

June 18, 2007

News: Last week, I reported that YouTube removed Smosh‘s mega-popular Pokemon video after receiving a DMCA notice (for copyright infringement), notwithstanding a strong parody fair use claim for Smosh. Under the DMCA, a website has a greater chance of staying within the safe harbor (and avoiding copyright liability) if it expeditiously removes content identified by a copyright holder in a DMCA notice.

One of the fallouts of the take down is that Smosh lost over 24 million views to its tally, placing it back closer to lonelygirl15 — 56 million to 52 million. If you are not aware, Smosh and lonelygirl15 are No. 1 and No. 2 in total views on YouTube for amateur productions.


Esmee Denters update: 9 days, over 3 million views

June 8, 2007

News: Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake singing “What Goes Around” just went over the 3 million mark in 9 days. You can see the video here. I wonder how long it can continue to generate more viewers at this torrid pace. You probably would guess not too much longer.

Esmee Denters video goes over 2 million views on YouTube

June 5, 2007

News: Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake just went well over 2 million views, amazingly in just 1 week. That’s pretty quick. For more about Esmee, visit here.

Esmee on YouTube


Esmee Denters update: 4 days, over 1.2 million views

June 2, 2007

News: Four days. That’s all it took for Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake to go over 1 million views on YouTube. It got a big boost from being on the front page of YouTube, though. I would’ve liked to see how quick it would have made it on its own.


Esmee Denters hits front page of YouTube again

June 1, 2007

News: Well, it didn’t take long before YouTube noticed the Esmee Denters-Justin Timberlake video. Now, it’s one of the featured videos on YouTube’s front page. Afer a little over 3 days, Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake hit 593,433 views, with 5890 comments and 2885 favorites. I have no doubt the video will hit a million views now. It’s only a question of when. This is the second time one of Esmee’s videos hit the front page of YouTube.

UPDATE: After 3 1/2 days, the video hit 782,968 views, 9425 comments, 4034 favorites.

For more about Esmee, visit here.


Esmee Denters update

May 31, 2007

At 8:30 p.m. (a little over 48 hours since 1st posting), Esmee Denters’ video with Justin Timberlake hit 442,445 views. (YouTube’s system of counting has a lag time, so the number is probably more.) But when will it hit a million?

Esmee Denters update

May 29, 2007

News: After 24 hours, the Esmee Denters-Justin Timberlake video on YouTube has hit the following marks (at around 2 pm):

1st Top Favorited video (today)

3rd Most viewed (recently) – 102,685 views in 24 hours

2nd Most Top Rated (today) – 1,550 ratings near 4 1/2 stars

2nd Most Discussed (today) – 1537 comments

UPDATE 2 (at 8 p.m.)

1st Top Favorited video (today)

3rd Most viewed (recently) – 221,557 views in a little over 1 day

3nd Most Top Rated (today) – 2,176 ratings near 4 1/2 stars

1st Most Discussed (today) – 2227 comments

2nd Most Linked (today) – 68,409 links

Esmee Denters performs with Justin Timberlake on YouTube: “What Goes Around”

May 28, 2007

Unbelievable. I hate to ruin the feeling of shock and amazement I had when first watching this video, but Justin Timberlake is playing piano and singing background for Esmee Denters. She really gets revved up with one minute left in the video. Justin says at the end, “She sings my own song better than me.” I agree. That was so unbelievably, mind-blowingly cool. I love it! Let’s see how long it takes for this video to get a million views.



Terra Naomi, The Utube Blog interview, Part 3

January 31, 2007


The Utube Blog: OK, let’s turn to some easy, short answer questions. I promise not to ask any Barbara Walters, what kind of tree would you be questions, but let’s start with, Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

Terra: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Radiohead, David Bowie, and Mozart.

The Utube Blog: Who are you listening to on your iPod right now?

Terra: Imogen Heap, Laughing Hyenas, and Radiohead.

The Utube Blog: Favorite movie?

Terra: Right now it’s “West Side Story.”

The Utube Blog: Favorite book?

: Right now it’s “Midnight’s Children.”

The Utube Blog: Ever watch American Idol?

Terra: Nope.

The Utube Blog: You might be the only one in America based on last week’s Idol ratings… Any New Year’s resolutions?

Terra: Nope. Every New Year’s Day I make a list of things which will happen in the coming year. Goals, wishes, intentions… this year there are about 60 I think.

The Utube Blog: Describe a typical day in the life of Terra Naomi.

Terra: These days I get up, walk my dog Elliott, read MySpace messages and emails, make any phone calls I need to make, go to the gym or yoga, and then to the studio where I spend the rest of the day/evening. I’m loving that!

The Utube Blog: Yeah, sounds like a nice gig. What’s one interesting fact about you that even some of your friends don’t know?

Terra: Honestly, I am guilty of giving out WAY too much information. I don’t think there’s anything I haven’t told someone. Even my mom and dad know every detail of my life—much to the dismay of some of my ex-boyfriends!

The Utube Blog: At the law school where I teach, some of my students are in a band called the “Backup Plan.” The name is kind of a joke about what would happen if they didn’t make it as lawyers. Let’s just imagine that Terra Naomi was still undiscovered, or the music thing just hadn’t worked out. What would your backup plan be?

Terra: Great name—I would probably be living on my mom and dad’s couch. Or in my car.

The Utube Blog: Well, thank heavens for us you don’t need to go to your backup plan! The world is a better place for it. You are definitely the best thing YouTube has discovered so far. I think I’ll end on that note, thanks so much for sharing with us, Terra! Look forward to your next album.

Terra: Thank you!!!

Part 1 of the Interview with Terra Naomi

Part 2 of the Interview with Terra Naomi 

Terra Naomi, The Utube Blog interview, Part 2

January 30, 2007


The Utube Blog I really, really love “Close to Your Head.” On YouTube, you say that you were inspired to write the song by an encouraging comment you received from someone on YouTube. What was the comment?

Terra: He literally wrote “the stars are close to your head.” I don’t think English was his first language and it was such a beautiful sentiment. Before I knew it I had written the song “Close to Your Head.”

The Utube Blog: When you write a song, do you write the lyrics and music at the same time or together? Does one come before the other? You seem to be able to compose very quickly — “Say It’s Possible” in 5 minutes.

Terra: It depends—there is no one process when I write a song—sometimes everything comes together, like “Say It’s Possible,” and other times I write the melody and chords first, then the lyrics, and vice versa.

The Utube Blog: On April 9, 2006, you wrote on your blog that you wrote the most important song you have ever written? Which song was that? And do you still feel that way about it?

Terra: That song is “Something Good to Show You. I wrote it after singing backup for Neil Young’s album “Living with War.” I do still believe that it is one of my most important songs. I won’t say “most important” because I think “Say It’s Possible” is also a big one for me. “Something Good to Show You” is a political song and I had not written a political song up to that point.

The Utube Blog: Besides the recording contract, what’s been the biggest change in your life since you’ve been discovered?

Terra: Well, all the recent changes in my life relate to that one big change. But before the recording contract I think it was the realization that my music could reach people around the world. And not only reach them, but inspire them. I always thought that was possible, but seeing it actually happen was such an incredible affirmation. I stopped caring whether I ever got signed, whether I got the approval from the industry, because I saw that the real people of the world were embracing me. I make my music for those people, not for the music industry.

Part 1 of the Interview with Terra Naomi

[Tomorrow: Part 3 of The Utube Blog’s interview with Terra Naomi]

Terra Naomi, The Utube Blog interview, Part 1

January 29, 2007


The Utube Blog: Hi, Terra, thanks for taking some time to chat with us. OK, let’s get right to the song that made you famous, “Say It’s Possible.” When I watched your original YouTube video, it stopped me in my tracks. It’s what I call a showstopping performance. I’m sure that many others have felt the same way, given the over 1 million views the video generated and the many people from all parts of the world covering it. Why do you think this song resonates so much with people, or is it still a mystery?

Terra: First of all, thank you! I’m not really sure what it was about that video/song. I think part of it was the stark, honest performance—me in front of my video camera, no frills, no edits—I don’t think people are used to seeing that these days. The rest is sort of a mystery. I wrote it in about 5 minutes—everything just flowed out of me, the words, the melody, the chord pattern—and I think it came from an honest place inside of me that other people can relate to.

The Utube Blog: Five minutes?–that’s incredible. You have a real gift. Now, I’ve read that it was your manager’s idea for you to give a “virtual tour” on the Internet after you decided not to tour on the road. Who is your manager, and where did he or you get such a crazy idea? Be honest, did you actually think it would work?

Terra: My manager/producer is a supremely talented and lovely man named Paul Fox. He made records for XTC, 10,000 Maniacs, the Sugarcubes, the Wallflowers, Semisonic—and many more. I was sitting in his studio one day and I just couldn’t handle the thought of going out on the road again on my own…those solo tours were unbelievably grueling. So the two of us came up with the idea that I should film myself and post … I decided to name it “the Virtual Summer Tour.” We honestly thought that maybe 1,000 people would see them at the most.

The Utube Blog: What drew you to YouTube, anyways? You could have launched your virtual tour on MySpace music or your own website. Why YouTube?

Terra: YouTube was actually an afterthought. I had never used the site. I had an account set up because a friend had made a live performance video of “The Vicodin Song” at one of my hotel cafe shows and he suggested posting it on YouTube. So I did. But I had never used the site other than to post the video. MySpace had recently started its video hosting section so I posted my videos there. A few days later, as an afterthought, Paul said, “Why don’t you post them on YouTube, too?”

The Utube Blog: That was a pretty good afterthought. YouTube’s probably not an afterthought to anyone any longer. By the way, in the video in which you visit YouTube’s offices, one of YouTube’s reps appears to say, if I heard correctly, that your dad emailed YouTube pointing out your video for “Say It’s Possible.” Was it really your dad? If it was, will he get a cut of your future royalties?

Terra: Haha—no—it was not my dad. I didn’t go back to check on this, but she probably said “Chad” as in Chad Hurley. Apparently Chad stumbled upon my video soon after I posted it and then forwarded it to a few other people at his company, including the woman who was responsible for choosing the featured videos. According to this woman, she watched it 5 times and then put it on the front page.

The Utube Blog: No way, Chad Hurley…the cofounder of YouTube? Wow, that guy has many talents–not only running a company, but finding the next great musical talent. Chad Hurley deserves the many thanks of all your music fans. But I think after Google bought YouTube Chad probably won’t be needing a cut of your royalties. Regardless, your virtual tour on YouTube was a huge success, giving you exposure and leading to a major recording contract. But, now with your success, do you think you will continue your virtual tour on YouTube?

Terra: Well, I don’t call it a virtual tour anymore—that was really just a summer 2006 thing—but yes, I will definitely continue posting videos. I’ve been busy in the studio lately, but I plan to start posting videos again very soon.

[Tomorrow: Part 2 of The Utube Blog’s interview with Terra Naomi]

The videos that put YouTube on the map

October 19, 2006

News:  Today, Slate’s Paul Boutin has a nice list of the buzz-making videos that put YouTube on the map.  The list is on NPR’s website, with convenient links to the YouTube clips.  Here are Boutin’s picks:

Jon Stewart on Crossfire
‘Lazy Sunday’ from ‘Saturday Night Live’
Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner
Judson Laipply’s Evolution of Dance
A Message from Chad and Steve