Royal Academy of Music string ensemble rehearsals now available online

It’s taken a long time, but I’m pleased to see insightful rehearsal footage (this particular example from the Royal Academy of Music) being made available this week.

Why? Because rehearsals reveal some of what’s involved in live performance. Importantly, they shine a light on the work of music conservatoires. In the age of students being customers, transparency for Conservatoires as service providers is key. Pun intended.

I’m not entirely sure why that makes it Strad content necessarily.

From a digital content perspective, I’d have thought it was vital for the Royal Academy to maintain the branded credit and host the content on their own channel. RAM has the digital resources to capture the content. Their Twitter account also has more followers. The Strad could have as easily embedded a RAM YouTube video as they have their own.

The insistence of platforms to use embedded content as the primary method of distributing that core content shows how publications rate gaining traffic (and driving revenue) over the original purpose of the video – supporting students and serving audience curiosity.

If distributing was done with the user in mind, all that would have needed to have been done was tweeting a link to the YouTube video. 

This view is a measure of the extent to which my view of platforms has changed – third-party publications like The Strad are the distributors; the owners of the originating content should be maximising the credit. 

Creating and branding your content is vital. Making that content embeddable keeps the publication happy (because it serves them with content) and makes sure you’re maximising brand awareness online (which was the purpose of putting the content out there in the first place). 

Doing that here would have meant hosting the video on Royal Academy of Music’s YouTube account (33.K followers), tweeting a short clip hosted on the RAM Twitter account (with a link to the YouTube video playlist) and then asking The Strad (17K followers) to retweet that across its channels. And most importantly of all, the Royal Academy could increase its digital network accordingly. 

And there’s one more thing to highlight …

At the bottom of the video is the inevitable illustration of YouTube still unaltered algorithms. A student performance attributed to someone else. 

Watch the Royal Academy of Music’s String Orchestra and violinist
Josef Špaček rehearsing Dvorak’s String Serenade on YouTube.

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