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- The Pachelbel Canon Guitar Insanity - YouTube Markteing on Steroids

Johann Pachelbel, a composer of the Baroque era, died in 1706. In 1706 the world’s entire population was some 600 million people. In 1954, Leo Fender designed the Fender Stratocaster, one of the most popular electric guitars ever made.

Neither of those two would have guessed that in 2007, a Korean guitarist would use Fender’s invention to play an electric guitar version of Pachelbel’s Canon in D, his most famous piece of music. Soon playing Canon on an electric guitar became a cult phenomenon, especially by Asian guitar players.

The popularity of Canon, the electric guitar version, soon exploded far beyond cult status. YouTube videos of guitarists doing their renditions of Canon have been viewed by millions world wide. In fact, the aforementioned Korean, known as FunTwO, went on to TV appearances and fame after his YouTube performance of Canon, although he really tried to sidestep the whole thing.

At last count, the most popular video of his Canon performance had been viewed by just shy of 50 million people on YouTube alone. Other videos showing the same performance have received upwards of 5 million views. Other guitarists playing this piece have also been seen by between 1 and 5 million people.

The insane growth in popularity of a simple guitar video demonstrates the amazing power of YouTube, and other so called Web 2.0 sites like Flickr, FaceBook, and  Digg. The power of users to contribute content and have others rate it, share it, and comment on it has created a media tidal wave that’s only beginning.

Pachelbel probably would have never imagined his composition would have been played by a Korean teenager, on a yet to be invented instrument. The mere idea that it would be subsequently viewed by what amounts to 12% of the world’s population when it was written would have probably caused him to collapse.

Pachelbel’s Canon on guitar is just one of the many videos and web sites that has exploded when the right people got a hold of it. If something strike a chord, as this guitar video clearly did, there’s no way of telling where it will go.

The “Canon Explosion” illustrates the potential of Web 2.0. When this amount of traffic is harnessed to a business, the potential is endless. It can be used to drive traffic, build a list, and ultimately deliver huge profits. While YouTube videos with 50 million viewers are obviously a best case scenario, many marketers have done very well with the medium and other 2.0 applications.

A compelling video with only 20,000 – 50,000 viewers can generate huge revenue and profits if that’s the goal. Getting continued views and generating revenue from them requires the same as with any marketing effort; compelling, valuable content. The more value you give the viewer, the more likely they’ll be to visit your site, sign up for your newsletter, and buy your products.

The even more powerful effect of quality content and strong value is the ability of your videos to go viral. Once they start getting passed around, your exposure will grow like those weeds you’re neglecting in your yard as you read this. That’s the real power behind YouTube and web 2.0 marketing in general, The go on and on, reaching far beond the creator’s expectations, just like those notes from FunTwO’s Strat.

 

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