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FROM THIS EPISODE

This is Celia Hirschman with On the Beat for KCRW.

Three weeks ago, the cable network MTV dropped the phrase, "music television," from their corporate logo. It was a long overdue gesture, indicating that the network had finally acknowledged they were out of the music business and into reality television. Over the last decade, MTV ignored most relevant music videos and instead relied on self-produced TV programs like Real World, Pimp My Ride and Jersey Shore. Although the logo correction comes late and means little – it does underscore the death of music marketing on the once important network.

But in a declining market, opportunities abound. Though MTV might not be playing expensive videos anymore, there's a fast-paced world of music videos that lives just a click away. These clips often cost a fraction of an MTV video and the viral nature of the distribution builds new fans interested in the group every day. In fact, I find the most exciting thing happening in the record business right now is the careers that are being built around viral videos.

One great example of this new world is from the San Francisco band called Pomplamoose. Pomplamoose is actually two people: Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn. They met while they were both making music on their own and fell in love. Together, they've created a new format of music video called, VideoSongs. VideoSongs have two rules:

1) What you see is what you hear. There's no lip-synching for vocals or instruments and everything is recorded live.

2) If you hear an instrument, at some point you have to see it in the video. There are no hidden sounds.

VideoSongs might capture Nataly playing bass and singing while Jack bangs away on other instruments. The VideoSongs are taped in their bedroom, with a myriad of instruments within arms length. Sometimes, a guest musician steps in to add a special musical line to the song. Most often the video continues on after the song to offer candid moments with Jack and Natalty and their friends, cat, and family.

Once the song has been taped, Pomplamoose edit everything down into a montage. To present multiple instrumentation, Jack and Nataly use a split screen. The result is a highly entertaining and uniquely informative music video. Once you hear them, it's hard to forget them.

The band has their own YouTube video channel, and some of the videos have already received over one million plays.

While the band does have an EP on iTunes, they've experimented with unorthodox ways to build revenue for their music. With the help of their friends and family, they've sold handmade soaps with free albums added in and free albums to anyone who buys their hand-screened Pomplamoose t-shirts. This is the next wave of music marketing. Selling products with music as added value seems to give fans a deeper and richer relationship with the bands they love.

But it is the personal relationship between Jack and Nataly that is the real draw. Here are two highly talented people, each of whom has their own creative style and together, they make three minutes entertaining, quirky and engaging. While the music completely stands on its own merit, when the ad lib dialogue comes in at the end you find yourself laughing and cheering this very unusual couple. Maybe that why they got their audience to buy 138 goats, 166 ducks and 107 chickens for people in Africa and Haiti at Christmas.

Pomplamoose completely engages the audience, who can't wait to see what they'll do next!

This is Celia Hirschman with On the Beat for KCRW.

Pomplamoose

Pomplamoose

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