An Open Letter Regarding Non-Embeddable YouTube Videos

This letter from Damian was posted on the OK Go Message Board today…

To the people of the world, from OK Go:

This week we released a new album, and it’s our best yet. We also released a new video – the second for this record – for a song called This Too Shall Pass, and you can watch it here. We hope you’ll like it and comment on it and pass the link along to your friends and do that wonderful thing that that you do when you’re fond of something, share it. We want you to stick it on your web page, post it on your wall, and embed it everywhere you can think of.

Unfortunately, as of now you can’t embed diddlycrap. And depending on where you are in the world, you might not even be able to watch it.

We’ve been flooded with complaints recently because our YouTube videos can’t be embedded on websites, and in certain countries can’t be seen at all. And we want you to know: we hear you, and we’re sorry. We wish there was something we could do. Believe us, we want you to pass our videos around more than you do, but…

Continue reading here…


  1. Hey there. I just read this post on the message board and checked out the video for ‘This Too Shall Pass’ on Vimeo. It was good stuff. I went ahead and bought the digital album and I’m listening to it now. However, I realized something. The purchasing process I just endured really, really sucked.

    You see, that forum post really made a connection. I could tell that you guys really care about all of this nonsense. And I could tell that you poured blood, sweat, and tears (well, hopefully only some sweat) into that video. It really got me fired up.

    I sense all of this passion on your end, but I don’t find any of it during the purchase process. This is normal, but it still sucks. It felt like the not-so-happy ending of an otherwise very happy massage. It made me realize that there’s usually no tangible reward for people like me to buy music.

    Sure, I get to remind myself that the money keeps your record company (and therefore, you) afloat, but that whole concept is usually too abstract for people to care about. Sad but true.

    Now, with that said…I do my fair share of stealing music. If I’m curious about a band, I’ll sometimes download an album and give it a once over to see if it’s worth my money. If it is, I eventually end up buying it. I also do my fair share of buying music; I probably buy between three and five albums a month.

    Anyway, what I’m trying to get at is that, as someone who plays for both teams, I feel like there need to be a more tangible reward for people who buy music. We used to be rewarded with album art and liner notes but those days are long gone. So what’s next? What can artists or labels do to reward buyers?

    I don’t have the answer to that, but maybe you do. You guys seem to have a knack for ingenuity. And if you don’t come up with anything, that’s fine. I’m halfway done listening to your new album and it’s pretty great. I just wonder how long we can sustain having a musical culture that allows for bands like you to make music and broadcast it to the masses without having to do so in your spare time while also having a ‘real’ job at a car dealership or government office or sewage plant like the rest of us.

    Keep up the good work, gents.

  2. Where did you digitally purchase the album? From the OK Go website? From itunes? From somewhere else? What specifically sucked about the process? Certainly if the music industry is going to successfully make the transition to digital-only sales, then feedback on that process from people who are actively participating is vital.

    Thanks for taking the time to write.

  3. I purchased the album via the OK Go homepage (using the PayPal option). And the reasons it sucked aren’t really a fault of the band. It’s just that buying online is such a cold, mechanical process. It always requires mundane data entry on the user’s behalf and ends with a receipt and thumbs left twiddling while the songs download (hopefully without a hitch).

    It’s an experience we’re all used to, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t or shouldn’t change. Imagine a purchasing experience that was actually positive, or dare I say pleasurable. And also, I should note that I put emphasis on the word “experience.”

    A very rough example: I visit to learn more about the new album. I can listen and watch and experience, and I end up digging it. As I proceed through the steps of buying, I notice that everything’s handled on one page. No page reloads or pop up windows or different websites. Also, when the page loads, a flash video loops in the background of the band members setting up and fiddling with their instruments. As I go through the steps of purchasing the album, it triggers the flash video to proceed to a different loop of the band tuning or goofing off. After I’m done buying the album, I get a link to a .zip file, a link to my receipt (both of which are also emailed to me), and the flash video triggers a song that was recorded only for this webpage.

    I don’t know…now that I’ve written it all out, it sounds pretty lame. But it could be pulled off. It would be a cool experience that you could only get by purchasing the album. And that’d be the whole point.

    Am I crazy or what?

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