For the last 30 or so years, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic has been the king of pop-culture parody.
But over the last decade, YouTube has exploded, giving everyone with a penchant for wordplay and Top 40 radio an outlet to do exactly what ‘Weird Al’ had turned into an art form. At the same time, fewer and fewer people are paying for music, meaning it’s nearly impossible for an artist to earn money through making music alone.
So why is ‘Weird Al’ still on top despite all this competition?
The answer — internet marketing.
According to a July 18 PropertyCasualty360.com article, ‘Weird Al’ has managed to retain relevance with his latest album, “Mandatory Fun,” by applying some tried-and-true internet marketing strategies to his quirk-laden art.
In the last week or so alone, Yankovic has released eight music videos from the album in an eight-day span, generating massive buzz on social media.
The music videos themselves were created in collaboration with some of the biggest names in web video content creation — including Funny or Die, College Humor, Yahoo and Nerdist. These sites pay Yankovic to produce his music videos, rather than the traditional other way around, according to PropertyCasualty360.com.
“They’re all looking for content and I’m looking for a video so we partner and it’s a win-win situation,” Yankovic said.
These free music videos essentially act as commercials for the complete album. From there, it’s hoping the album will sell well upon its release.
Another key factor in Yankovic’s continued success in the dime-a-dozen world of parody artists is the ‘Weird Al’ brand itself, PropertyCasualty360.com reports. Most, if not all, music fans know who ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic is, and would likely rather watch “Amish Paradise” or the new “Word Crimes” over a teenager changing the words to an Eminem song in his mom’s basement.
And by generating online video content that will get views, shares and likes, ‘Weird Al’ is proving that his brand doesn’t have to stay in the 80s.