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Brands are about to ruin music videos from the past

Brands are about to ruin music videos from the past


Videos will be digitally updated with new ads

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Product placement in music videos is about to get even more annoying: new sponsors are going to start getting edited into old videos. Universal Music Group, the music giant with artists including Kanye West and Taylor Swift, is going to start using a technology that will allow music videos to be continually updated after their release — for instance, a soda can in a video might read "Pepsi" one week and "Coke" the next. Aside from allowing advertisers to sponsor a video for limited periods of time, the technology will also allow UMG to target different versions of a video to viewers with different interests.

Coke, LG, and Dish are in for future videos

An Avicii video will be the first from UMG to use the new technology, initially including an ad for Grand Marnier, before later swapping it out for something else, according to the Financial Times. UMG will also be working with the Coca-Cola, LG, and Dish Network for future promotions.

It's not stated how far and wide we can expect to see this put to use, but videos demonstrating the technology suggest that it's basically just digital editing, meaning it can be put to use in any music video with room for an ad, even if the video wasn't designed for it. The demo reel shows the technology being used to not just change soda cans and banner ads, but also to change vehicles, cellphones, and clothing. UMG says that we're only going to see this in "select" videos, and while those will likely be new and popular ones, some "past" videos are going to be altered as well. There's no word, however, on exactly how far into UMG's archives that'll go.


Avicii video before and after looking totally natural, from Billboard.