YouTube boosts accessibility of interactive music videos

By Managing Editor

Artists like Kanye West and Arcade Fire have dabbled with interactive music videos in the past, but You- Tube is taking steps to make such videos much more common.

The video-sharing website announced the creation of a new user-friendly tool on Feb. 4 that will allow visitors the ability to interact more directly with artist music videos, according to a same-day Billboard report.

Effective immediately, users who upload videos to YouTube will have the choice to send multiple camera angles through to the site in addition to the accompanying audio track.

YouTube will take care of fusing the different feeds together, allowing viewers to toggle the video as they watch it and choose what camera angle they would like to watch a video from, giving users the ability to switch up their view without pausing the video, according to Billboard.

Press materials from YouTube stated that the new tool is one of the video-sharing website’s many initiatives to facilitate interaction between users and creators and to make artists’ work more relatable to fans.

The YouTube press release asked readers to think about how the latest innovation would impact the experience of watching videos online.

“Your videos bring your fans front and center, behind the scenes and everywhere in between,” the press release read. “But what if your fans could choose from different camera angles of the same video while that video is playing?”

One of many reasons the website claimed its newest tool would be
a game-changer is that in theory, viewers would be more likely to spend more time watching a certain video or to watch the same video multiple times from different angles if they felt like they could control the way in which they view videos.

If the theory proves correct, it could mean increased revenue for popular YouTubers, whose advertising dollars could increase significantly due to fans spending longer amounts of time on the pag- es or boosting their number of page views.

Billboard reported that some users may have issues with audio discontinuity if they try to switch views quickly, but after visiting any YouTube channel that has posted a video since Feb. 4 that is multi-angle compatible, a message will appear on the screen alerting viewers that holding down their left or right arrow keys just a tad longer than usual will make for a smoother transition between the many different camera angles. The idea for the multi-angle and toggle options for YouTube’s videos has apparently been in talks for a while, and according to the Billboard report, it is meant to add to the Generation C—creation, curation, connection and community—toolbelt. Now YouTubers can also be video editors.

While videos allowing users to drag their mouse to the right or left to focus in on a certain portion of the music video set or performance have been offered by the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Miranda Lambert since 2012, YouTube’s new tool will make toggling videos more practical and accessible action for users and artists alike.