In Israel Yoni Bloch is a well-known singer-songwriter who’s sold many albums and to the music industry he is the guy responsible for the award winning interactive videos made for artists like Chairlift, Zooey Deschanel and Andy Grammer. Yoni’s start-up technology company, Interlude.fm – creates interactive music videos that allow viewers to sit in the directors chair and call the shots on the story. In the interview below, the self-professed computer geek chats with us about the future of digital media and music videos.
What inspired you to create interactive music videos? As a songwriter, I always wanted to find new ways to create unique songs and unique music videos. I realized that a fun way to engage my audience would be to share with them all the options I have while creating a music video and let them help me in the decision-making process. That was the inspiration behind the Interlude technology. And in the end, I was able to create multiple video options for every song and let users decide how they want to watch (and even listen) to them. This is a new experience for both artists and music lovers.
How has the interactivity of music videos evolved? With our first video, there weren’t many options – throughout the video there was the same location, same music, same lyrics, and you could only change the singer. Today we give users the option to change every aspect of the video, and now they can even play it on any phone or tablet. And, as you can see from the variety of projects we have done in the last 12 months, brands and content producers across industries have recognized the value of our platform to really engage audiences like never before – whether advertisers, film studios, TV networks, music artists, and soon you will see some exciting examples from the travel and political realms.
Where does your passion for digital media come from? I was actually always a computer geek. I loved playing with new software and gadgets from about the same time I started listening to music. Somehow I always felt that the two spheres are connected — that any technological progress will enable us to take another leap forward in the way we create and consume music.
Where do you think digital media is going? Already today we are at a stage where we have full access to all the content in the world — in the best quality and accessible from almost every device. The biggest challenge for content creators now is to find ways to differentiate themselves, to excite and engage audiences, and to offer consumers new and improved ways to find what they are looking for amidst this never-ending sea of content. It’s no secret that music videos are being watched more and more online.
Do you think more artists will want to add interactive content to their videos in the next few years? Of course, an interactive music video is the only format that really utilizes the bi-directional ability of the internet. By its nature, our interactive music videos also inspire audiences to replay the video several times. And as any music artist knows, once you hear a song a few times, it is more likely to be remembered. The music industry is slowly adapting to the opportunities that the Internet, and specifically interactive videos, can offer. I think it is similar to the shift in thinking and the attitude toward innovation that we encountered when the first music videos appeared on television. Artists will increasingly start to appreciate this new format and I believe most of them will be anxious to use it.
What’s a music videos that impressed you recently? ‘Houdini’ by Foster the People. It’s not interactive, but the idea is great and the video just looks incredible.
What advice do you have for aspiring musicians and digital media enthusiasts? I think that this sums it up nicely – “To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan, and not quite enough time.” – Leonard Bernstein –
What is reading this isomething you recommend the peopnterview have on their radar?
Chairlift – “Met Before” (interactive music video). Andy Grammer – “Keep Your Head Up” – (interactive music video). Yoni Bloch – “Pretend to be Happy” (interactive music video).