YouTube Shocker: Musician Paid For Use Of Song In Hit Video

Here’s one hit YouTube video Viacom can’t complain about: “Where The Hell Is Matt“, which has been viewed some 4 million times in the last month (we’ve previously noted the clip’s success on Vimeo). The video is lawsuit-free, because the clip is 100-per cent user generated content, in the rarely seen literal sense: Not only did game developer Matt Harding produce the video of himself jitterbugging around the world himself, he actually created a soundtrack for it — and paid someone to make it.

Now singer Palbasha Siddique, a 17-year-old who’s about to start her senior year at a Minneapolis high school, may actually get a career, to boot. StarTribune:

Thee song from the video, titled “Praan” (Bengali for “life”), has shot up to the top 10 of Amazon’s soundtrack downloads over the past week and is also in the top 100 of all its MP3 downloads.

“It’s up over Madonna and Mariah Carey,” Siddique said with a giggle… Siddique was only first contacted by the makers of the “Dancing” video a month ago.

She came to their attention thanks to an earlier video clip posted on YouTube of her singing for Minneapolis station KFAI-FM. They flew her and her mum to Los Angeles in mid-June for one day of recording, and within days of their return, the clip was up and running.

Of course, this still the music business, not a fantasyland. So Siddique’s not actually getting a good deal here – that would involve royalties, and that’s just crazy talk. But in the get-big-first, monetise-later world of Web video, something is way, way better than nothing:

Siddique was paid a flat fee of $1,000 to sing for the clip and will not make any royalties from the Amazon sales. [Composer Garry] Schyman justified it as “good day’s pay for a musician.”

Said Siddique, “I’m not sad about that, because there is no other way I could have gotten this much exposure.”

See Also: YouTube Source Code Safe; Your Viewing Records Aren’t
Vimeo: Hey, People Are Watching Our Videos!


Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

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