Interview: OK Go on the Rebirth of the Music Video Page 4


Given the success of your videos, how do you translate the number of Web hits into some sort of commoditized measurement? Or don't you? It appears to be very difficult to take Web hits or unique visitors and somehow create a metric by which you can measure some form of tangible success. Do you look at the number of hits your videos receive from a metrics standpoint?
The only time I have to do this is when we need to convince people, say for a business model. To be honest, I don't believe in any of those metrics, particularly. I'm happy to parade them out when we need them, but gaming metrics systems is not why I want to make videos, or make music, or make art, or anything. In truth, you definitely have this weird contra-relationship between people making things and people selling things, because if I wanted to make a lot of money, the last thing I would be doing is making music and videos and art. It's just a stupid way to try and make money. And on the other hand, the people [involved] in the business side generally do want to see music and arts and creative idea succeed, and that's why they're here. Except as soon as the Wild West opens up again and people are making crazy shit and folks don't know what to do with it, the first question out of their mouths is, "What metrics do we use?"

From my standpoint, and from any given band's standpoint, the metrics that matter is whether there's enough money in the bank, or the assurance of enough money in the bank, that you can make your next record, and you can keep touring, and you can keep chasing your ideas. I can't speak for the middlemen or the people in between who want to bet on 20 bands or 50 bands and who want to know how to gauge their [success]. I can say that it matters to the people we deal with in a money way whether we have 2 million hits or 30 million hits. You can't directly tie those things to a hell of a lot of revenue, except that the money involved with a band is always expanding and contracting with the world's understanding of that band.

The amounts we get paid to play a college show, or from tours, and the amounts we get paid to be in a movie trailer and the times we get asked to be in a videogame, all of these little trickles of revenue make up what really winds up in our bank accounts. So the individual amounts - most are pretty small, but they add up, and that allows us to create new things. So while the music itself is doing very well, the music industry isn't. But our ultimate goal isn't to just sell records; we want to make cool and creative things and share them with people. And by that measure, I think we've been very successful.