First there was no billboard. Then there was. Aloe Blacc‘s video for “The Man,” from last year’s Lift Your Spirit, had already been watched millions of times when a company called Mirriad announced a deal with streaming-video service Vevo in May — and inserted a product placement into Blacc’s pre-existing clip.
Now, that sci-fi technology could soon be showing up in a whole lot more videos. Mirriad, the major label Universal Music Group and advertising agency Havas said today they’ve reached an agreement. The deal would allow companies such as Coca-Cola to put new product placements in already-finished videos.
Product placement is already common in music videos, of course. And TV shows have already used Mirriad’s technology. With the deal, two people watching the same video at the same time might see different product placements within the video, targeted to them based on such factors as geography. Placements will no longer have to be negotiated before the making of the video, and products can be swapped out after the fact when an advertising campaign ends.
For viewers, this all adds up to having to steer through even more brand names when watching music videos from major-label acts. For labels and performers, it’s a fresh source of income as music sales continue to shrink. And for the advertisers, it’s another way to home in on particular audiences as our attention gets more and more divided.
As Billboard reports, citing a Mirriad rep, the partnership’s first projects include videos from Avicii, Far East Movement and Darius Rucker. Watch examples of how this works in the clips below. (The videos below have not been retroactively superimposed in this article. At least, not as far as you know…)