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This article was published on December 21, 2013

5 of the most awesome interactive online music videos

5 of the most awesome interactive online music videos
Garrett Heath
Story by

Garrett Heath

Garrett Heath is a technology storyteller and digital marketer with MarketingBytes.io and an enchilada fan who maintains SA Flavor, a blog o Garrett Heath is a technology storyteller and digital marketer with MarketingBytes.io and an enchilada fan who maintains SA Flavor, a blog on where to eat in San Antonio.

Garrett Heath is a technology storyteller with Rackspace and an enchilada fan who maintains SA Flavor, a blog on where to eat in San Antonio.

Music videos have evolved a lot since Elvis rocked a jailhouse, the Beatles had a hard day’s night and The Buggles killed the radio star. While music videos have taken a back seat on cable television to teenage mothers and fist pumping partygoers, the Internet has been the go to spot to artists to express their sounds visually.

As the Web has evolved to a more interactive, on-demand experience, so have the music videos. In honor of Beyoncé completely taking everyone by surprise with a 14 song, 17 video album release, here are five interesting online music video experiments that may just change the music video directors approach their job.

Dylan on every channel

02 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” received its first official music video some 48 years after being released. Considering that grunge and Alanis Morissette needed less than 20 years to lose some of the original edge, I was a little skeptical when I heard that Dylan was releasing this video. How could he possibly capture the passion and angst almost a half a century later?

The answer is he didn’t. By having an interactive video where viewers could change channels to see pawn stars, home shopping sellers, financial analysts and even Drew Carey lip-synch the classic song, Dylan seemed to acknowledge that his classic song has lost some of the original angst.

24-hour dance party

03 Pharrell

Think that it would be difficult for any artist to upstage Dylan in the foreseeable future? Think again. Singer, songwriter and producer extraordinaire Pharrell Williams release the world’s first ever 24-hour music video to his song “Happy” from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack.

Hosting online at 24 Hours of Happy, the site features a full day of footage of both Pharrell and people off the street lip synching and dancing to the catchy tune. When visiting the site, viewers see the particular video that lines up with their local time along with having the option to drag the clock to any other time throughout the day. You can’t help but be happy watching it.

Smartphone and webcam sync

04 Arcade Fire

For their newest single Reflektor, Arcade Fire created an interactive experience between a viewer’s laptop webcam and smartphone. Entering in a code on your phone creates an image on the screen that the camera can synch to, allowing the viewer to manipulate images on the laptop screen by moving a smartphone around. For example, at the beginning of the video the screen is dark and moving the phone exposes light on certain parts of the screen.

Choose your weapon

05 Guinevere

Hopping on the cultish adoration for all things zombies, Canada pop star Guinevere allows fans to select the weapon for her to use to kill the undead in her interactive music video “Ran For My Life.” The options give the viewer a sort of macabre choose-your-own-adventure through a zombie outbreak.

Music video meets Google Maps

01 Arcade Fire

Okay, this technically isn’t from 2013, but we did think Arcade Fire started a trend here. Prior to The Suburbs winning the 2011 Grammy for Album of the Year, indie rock band Arcade Fire released an interactive video for their song “We Used to Wait.” Viewers could enter the address of their childhood home prior to playing the video.

As the video begins, the camera follows a person running through city streets when suddenly, screens pop up with birds flying overhead of images from your old neighborhood, courtesy of Google maps.

Did we miss your favorites? Are interactive videos the newest way to go about illustrating hit single? Tell us in the comments below.

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