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Monty Python Banks On the Long Tail Via YouTube

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the finally-a-perfect-use-for-the-foot-icon dept.

Media 222

JTRipper writes "Monty Python seems to have done the right thing. Instead of issuing take down notices of their videos on YouTube, they are doing it better themselves with their own YouTube channel. They are putting all their clips (including snips from their movies) up in a decent resolution, with the only caveat being a link to buying the movies and TV episodes from Amazon."

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222 comments

Well, Not ALL of Them Really (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822995)

They are putting all their clips (including snips from their movies) up in a decent resolution ...

Um, that's kind of misleading. There are 24 clips as of this posting. That's not to say there isn't more to come but the channel description clearly states:

What's more, we're taking our most viewed clips and uploading brand new HQ versions.

Their announcement video shows more video clips than they have up right now (man with a recorder up his nose from And Now for Something Completely Different, etc) so hopefully there's more to come. I'm a bit disappointed the general populace doesn't watch The Flying Circus more often ... it's a shame every time I see a banana at a corporate function I have the urge to hand it to someone while instructing them to "come at me with that banana like you really mean it!" And they just continue to treat me like I'm insane.

And where's The Crimson Permanent Assurance [youtube.com] (opening feature to The Meaning of Life)?! That single skit was probably more expensive than all other Python works combined--and a gold mine for office humor to send to your coworkers!

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (-1, Redundant)

Pajlada (1310449) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823049)

They are putting all their clips (including snips from their movies) up in a decent resolution ...

Um, that's kind of misleading. There are 24 clips as of this posting. That's not to say there isn't more to come but the channel description clearly states:

What's more, we're taking our most viewed clips and uploading brand new HQ versions.

Their announcement video shows more video clips than they have up right now (man with a recorder up his nose from And Now for Something Completely Different, etc) so hopefully there's more to come. I'm a bit disappointed the general populace doesn't watch The Flying Circus more often ... it's a shame every time I see a banana at a corporate function I have the urge to hand it to someone while instructing them to "come at me with that banana like you really mean it!" And they just continue to treat me like I'm insane. And where's The Crimson Permanent Assurance [youtube.com] (opening feature to The Meaning of Life)?! That single skit was probably more expensive than all other Python works combined--and a gold mine for office humor to send to your coworkers!

At least it's a step in the right direction!

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823141)

Now really, was it necessary to quote that entire post when you added your nine words? Did it significantly enhance the quality of your own post? I contend that it did not, and that you and the community as a whole would benefit from you never doing that again.

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823241)

Yes

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (5, Funny)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824687)

I think this is what you meant:

They are putting all their clips (including snips from their movies) up in a decent resolution ...

Um, that's kind of misleading. There are 24 clips as of this posting. That's not to say there isn't more to come but the channel description clearly states:

What's more, we're taking our most viewed clips and uploading brand new HQ versions.

Their announcement video shows more video clips than they have up right now (man with a recorder up his nose from And Now for Something Completely Different, etc) so hopefully there's more to come. I'm a bit disappointed the general populace doesn't watch The Flying Circus more often ... it's a shame every time I see a banana at a corporate function I have the urge to hand it to someone while instructing them to "come at me with that banana like you really mean it!" And they just continue to treat me like I'm insane.

And where's The Crimson Permanent Assurance [youtube.com] (opening feature to The Meaning of Life)?! That single skit was probably more expensive than all other Python works combined--and a gold mine for office humor to send to your coworkers!

At least it's a step in the right direction!

Now really, was it necessary to quote that entire post when you added your nine words? Did it significantly enhance the quality of your own post? I contend that it did not, and that you and the community as a whole would benefit from you never doing that again.

Yes

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823169)

Um, that's kind of misleading. There are 24 clips as of this posting

That's because they only put up the good ones.

(Don't worry, Mr. Karma, I'll do this one anonymously)

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823401)

They are putting all their clips (including snips from their movies) up in a decent resolution ...

Um, that's kind of misleading. There are 24 clips as of this posting.

How so? Saying "They are" can describe something they are in the process of doing.

What's more, we're taking our most viewed clips and uploading brand new HQ versions.

Their announcement video shows more video clips than they have up right now (man with a recorder up his nose from And Now for Something Completely Different, etc) so hopefully there's more to come.

Again... "What's more" implies that the 24 clips are in addition to what they have planned. Just because it's not everything immediately doesn't mean that the summary is incorrect. This seems to happen all the time on Slashdot. An announcement of some work in progress or planned item is made and then people slag off on it for not being 100% complete from the get-go.

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (5, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823491)

Um, that's kind of misleading.

Did you come here for an argument?

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (2, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823595)

I've told you once.

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823877)

No, you didn't!

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (5, Funny)

duguk (589689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823493)

The use of the tag "suddenoutbreakofcommonsense" just seems so inappropriate when discussing Monty Python. :)

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (1)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823605)

It's not strange it just means most people have been there done that in college and have moved on.

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (1, Informative)

zxnos (813588) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823953)

I'm a bit disappointed the general populace doesn't watch The Flying Circus more often ...

no offense, but the general populace (at least in the states) doesn't like or 'get' python. you either love it or hate it - which isnt an even split. more people probably like the stooges. i cannot fathom why people like that show. (see how that works?)

it's a shame every time I see a banana at a corporate function I have the urge to hand it to someone while instructing them to "come at me with that banana like you really mean it!"

that is a bit of a shame... i like python as well, but hearing people do bits all the time is a bit annoying. particularly when it gets into a 'who can make the most obscure python reference' infinite loop.

Re:Well, Not ALL of Them Really (2, Insightful)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824623)

You mean you either hate it (Americans) or you love it (the rest of the known universe)? :P

These people are fantastic. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823051)

Thank you Graham, John, Terry, Eric, Mike, and the other Terry that isn't the first one!

No problem (3, Insightful)

Drakin020 (980931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823061)

I had no problem getting a few ads to watch something online. Much like Hulu's service. If they want to start something like this, go for it! This is how it should be done.

That's not a caveat (2, Insightful)

Reality Master 201 (578873) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823081)

That's just a link to amazon.

A caveat would be a warning or proviso indicating terms of use, like that you have to pay them $1 million if you don't buy the video from Amazon.

Re:That's not a caveat (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824041)

you have to pay them $1 million if you don't buy the video

I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition!

Re:That's not a caveat (1)

bckrispi (725257) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824719)

Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

And now, for something completely different... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823101)

nt

It's good to see some people are getting it... (4, Insightful)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823119)

All your old business models are dead... it's time to find a better way and stop treating potential customers as the enemy.

(I have the entire flying circus on DVD bought and paid for... what a wonderful waste of time.)

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (5, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823223)

All your old business models are dead

Nah, they're just resting.

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (1)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823295)

All your old business models are dead

Nah, they're just resting.

Oh bugger!

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (5, Funny)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823347)

Nah, they're just resting.

Look, matey, I know a dead business model when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823503)

No no it's not dead, it's, it's changin'! Remarkable business model, the MPAA, idn'it, ay? Beautiful Portfolio!

Re:dead model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823655)

No, its just pining for the fjords.

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25824503)

Well, they're...they're, ah...probably pining for the fjords

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823487)

So... The only reason I'm seeing them now before my eyes is that they have, in fact, been nailed there?

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823589)

Yes, some are getting it. For example, Tokio Hotel have been updating their youtube channel [youtube.com] weekly for a year with concert footage and behind the scenes material. Now they are selling a DVD [amazon.de] with those episode, extra footage, and band commentary. I have mine pre-ordered.

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (1)

bograt (943491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823759)

(I have the entire flying circus on DVD bought and paid for... what a wonderful waste of time.)

I believe you meant to say "what a senseless waste of human life."

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (1)

ivanmarsh (634711) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824079)

Did you come in here for an argument?
Sorry, but this is the room where you get hit on the head with a mallet.

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (1)

bograt (943491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824203)

Shut your festering gob, you tit! Your type really makes me puke, you vacuous, coffee-nosed, maloderous, pervert!!!

Re:It's good to see some people are getting it... (1)

bograt (943491) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824237)

[full disclosure: I just copy-pasted that quote from here [mindspring.com]. I'm pretty sure that should be "toffee-nosed", not "coffee-nosed".]

They 'get it' - but today's audience does not. (5, Insightful)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823923)

to wit: "with the only caveat being a link to buying the movies and TV episodes from Amazon."
caveat? -caveat-? Holy crap. The people behind the actual stuff can't put a f'ing "BUY THIS NOW" link with their videos without being chastised for it now?

The "me me me" generation needs to move along and die - the sooner the better.

I've always said (search my comments - I'm sure I've ranted on this topic here before) that the content owners should have a two-part strategy..
1. yes, by all means, send DMCA takedown notices of clear rips (if for no other reason than that I am tired of the leading title sequences for clips saying "video made by GangFunksta!!!!" in bright yellow on blue put together in windows movie maker, followed by the actual video overlaid by "made with unregistered hypercam" in the corners all over, and the sound too quiet to hear without setting the volume to 11)
( Note that I say 'clear rips'; somebody playing some stupid song in the background of their kid dancing shouldn't get a DMCA takedown. Somebody putting up a still image with the artist name and title of the song with the music in good quality -should- be DMCAd left right and center. )

2. Make an official and -good- quality version available themselves. Doesn't even need to be high quality or HD - leave that for sales if you want, but just set up good quality versions, add links to other productions of yours, add links to amazon, to swag, insert special promo codes - whatever you think would bring you more customers instead of driving them away (and to those crappy rips).. heck, put in an actual ad at the end of the video.

Well, I didn't expect this. (2, Funny)

Eg0Death (1282452) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823129)

Nooooobody expects the Monty Python clips on Youtube! Our chief weapons are . . .

Re:Well, I didn't expect this. (1)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823253)

Python A: Humor, common sense, and a strong affinity for silly things.
Python B: And Cake!
Python A: Oh yes, and cake.

Re:Well, I didn't expect this. (4, Funny)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823373)

I'd quite like to sit down and watch these.
Biggles! Fetch... THE COMFY CHAIR!

dastardly music

explanations? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823183)

Who is Monty Python and why should I care? Is it a band? From what I can tell they're just a bunch of fat Australians who need shaves.

Re:explanations? (1)

xav_jones (612754) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823437)

Haha. Your powers of observation are astounding. As is your ability to ask the question here instead of Google.

Re:explanations? (2, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823551)

They're not Australians you numbskull, they're South African.

God damn, the nerve of some people.

Re:explanations? (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823753)

From what I can tell they're just a bunch of fat Australians who need shaves.

Ah, but at least among those Australians you will find NOOOOOOOOO POOFTERS.

Who ordered this? (5, Interesting)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823207)

I wonder who had the power to make this decision since most artists sell their work to a label/studio. According to Wikipedia for example, The Holy Grain is currently produced by Fox and EMI in the UK and Cinema 5 in the US (who I've never heard of). But the others seem to have other distributors. It's strange that they would upload portions from the entire collection when it seems that different parts are owned by different companies....

But it's welcome news. Maybe it will set a precedent for others to do the same.

It figures... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823213)

..the jokers at MPAA and RIAA don't get the joke while the funny ones do ;)

Outside convent with half naked women... (5, Funny)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823249)

Sir Lancelot: We were in the nick of time. You were in great peril.
Sir Galahad: I don't think I was.
Sir Lancelot: Yes, you were. You were in terrible peril.
Sir Galahad: Look, let me go back in there and face the peril.
Sir Lancelot: No, it's too perilous.
Sir Galahad: Look, it's my duty as a knight to sample as much peril as I can.
Sir Lancelot: No, we've got to find the Holy Grail. Come on.
Sir Galahad: Oh, let me have just a little bit of peril?
Sir Lancelot: No. It's unhealthy.
Sir Galahad: I bet you're gay.
Sir Lancelot: Am not.

Re:Outside convent with half naked women... (2)

mathx314 (1365325) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823769)

His! Name! Is!
Lancelot!
And in tight pants a lot
He likes to dance a lot
You know you do!

I do?

So just say "Thanks" a lot
And try romance -- it's hot!
Let's find out who's really you!

His name is Lancelot
He visits France a lot
He likes to dance a lot and dream
No one would ever know
That this outrageous pro
Bats for the other team!

Long Tail? (1)

Bob-taro (996889) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823271)

Can anyone explain the summary title to me? I don't understand what any of this has to do with the "long tail" as I've heard it explained. I mean, it might apply to youtube ... if youtube were selling it's videos.

Re:Long Tail? (4, Informative)

alexander_686 (957440) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823439)

The "Long Tail" is a retail concept. Normally, business make 80% of their profit/sales off 20% of the items that they sell. Which is why "Big" retails are well stocked with the latest Hollywood film, but not that obscure DVD with British humor. The Internet is supposed to change this. Because adding an additional piece to inventor does not take up an additional retail "space" a store can offer unlimited holdings. So one would expect that fewer sales of the "Big" hits and more sales of the more odd titles. It's is a nice theory, but it not true. 80% of Amazon's sales come from just 20% of their inventory. I mean, sure, they have a much larger inventory then most stores, but they don't expect the long tail. The numbers are bigger but the ratio stays the same. I have always wondered if Apple's Itunes has escaped into the long tail.

Re:Long Tail? (5, Funny)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823849)

I mean, sure, they have a much larger inventory then most stores, but they don't expect the long tail.

No one expects the...

Oh, bugger.

And now for something completely different (4, Funny)

duckInferno (1275100) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823285)

A man with twenty-four Monty Python clips!

'es watching youtube

Oh.. uh... a man with three legs!

'es run away

... oh come off it!

So let me understand this. . . (0, Flamebait)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823321)

the people who wrote, produced and own the rights to something are putting THEIR work up for other people to view and are providing a link for other people to purchase the work they wrote, produced and own the rights to.

This is compared to telling people who didn't write, produce or own the rights to a work to stop posting said work which they didn't write, produce or own the rights to for others to view.

Yes, I can see the similarities.~*

* Testing out the new sarcasm tage

Seems like a better model to me (4, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823343)

I was a huge fan of the way id released their games back in the day, first episode is long and free, the next two will cost you something. Now with Monty Python, the last show went in the can years ago and they're not likely to produce anything new. But for newer shows, I think the PBS model would work. Give the content away for free but let the fans who really like it become direct patrons to support the arts. Let's face it, stamping out piracy is pretty much impossible and not every pirated copy is really a lost sale to begin with. Better to support the culture of patronage and count on the real fans to help you turn a profit.

One thing the networks are struggling to contend with right now is gaining an accurate measure of just how popular a show is. We know about Faux's surprise when Family Guy was canceled for poor ratings and the DVD set went on to become the #2 selling show ever. This sort of performance gap is continuing with geriatric-targeting CBS having great Nielsens while shows skewing towards younger demographics seem to be under-performing but this does not reflect the interest on p2p sites. ITunes only depicts a portion of the overall success online. And DVD sales aren't figured until long after the current season is over.

I'll be happy when the middle-men are completely done away with and first-run shows are produced with no need for networks. We're already seeing quirky comedies doing well on Youtube but those are extremely low-budget. It'll take some bucks to put together something like Firefly on a fan-funded basis.

Re:Seems like a better model to me (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823671)

The PBS model doesn't really even work for PBS. When I worked at WGBH in Boston, I got to see the budget numbers - about 90% of the budget comes from the corporate sponsors. Those commitments are arranged and planned for years in advance.

The remainder of the budget comes from "viewers like you," and since it's impossible to predict those donation amounts in advance, it goes only into a discretionary spending fund. Every project plan has a few "would be nice" items in case there's enough in that discretionary fund to build them by the time the project is being produced.

Re:Seems like a better model to me (1, Offtopic)

IWood (1380317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823873)

I'll be happy when the middle-men are completely done away with and first-run shows are produced with no need for networks. We're already seeing quirky comedies doing well on Youtube but those are extremely low-budget. It'll take some bucks to put together something like Firefly on a fan-funded basis.

The hammer is my penis.

The State (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823361)

If only MTV would do this with The State.. Along with creating a DVD they could link to to buy. You know, so, even if I had to pay, I could watch the funniest show ever.

Re:The State (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824311)

You know, so, even if I had to pay, I could watch the funniest show ever.

No kidding. That's my favorite show of all time. Reno 911 is pretty damned funny too though.

MTV has been working on a DVD for The State for years, but it's hung up on copyright problems with all the music that's in it. Same thing for WKRP in Cincinnati.

What I'd like to see of Python: laugh-track free (4, Insightful)

timothy (36799) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823369)

I hate laugh tracks.

No, scratch that -- I am annoyed by laugh tracks. Partly because I'm used to them, and when I notice a laugh-track it's often too late.

Please, Pythons -- your sketches are funny (on albums) without the degrading use of laugh tracks. Do you still have the masters from which to make better video clips, without them?

timothy

Re:What I'd like to see of Python: laugh-track fre (3, Informative)

skwang (174902) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823473)

I'm no expert, but many of their Flying Circus episodes were filmed in front of studio audiences. In addition, there was a laugh track that was inserted in post-production.

I'm afraid you'll have to do with the laughter.

Re:What I'd like to see of Python: laugh-track fre (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823957)

I'm sure with the right amount of effort, it could be removed.
Laugh tracks are annoying because there are exactly the same. Actual laughter tends to varies.

Re:What I'd like to see of Python: laugh-track fre (1, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823779)

I hate laugh tracks.

You must understand that these shows were produced almost four decades ago, when producing a comedy without at least a live audience was not only unheard of, but unthinkable.

That said, I always hated laugh tracks too, even back when Monty Python was new (and I was young); particularly LOUD laugh tracks. Monty Python doesn't seem to be a particular offender here. But if it's funny it doesn't need a laugh track; there isn't any laugh track to my stupid slashdot comments but I regularly have people telling me I owe them a new keyboard.

Lack of a laugh track is one reason I like My Name Is Earl so much. That show is hilarious (Patty the Daytime Hooker with her hand caught in a soda machine: "I'm not trying to steal a soda, I have a client who's into dead people").

I was telling a guy at Felber's (a bar here) who hardly watches any TV about it.

"What's it called?" he asked.

"My Name Is Earl."

"I thought your name was Steve?"

Re:What I'd like to see of Python: laugh-track fre (3, Funny)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823897)

"What's it called?" he asked.

"My Name Is Earl."

"I thought your name was Steve?"

"THIRD BASE!"

Better way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25823451)

I think they should tax all foreigners living abroad.

Caveat? (1)

JPortal (857107) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823703)

"with the only caveat being a link to buying the movies and TV episodes from Amazon"

Am I the only one who views this as a service, not a caveat? Link = resource.

I didn't expect.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25824173)

Monty Python to use the 'comfy chair' technique!

and associated quotes....

Life of Python (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25824367)

Going to throw in here the finest bit of meta-humour I've come across.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykN-00i7VVs

south park (4, Interesting)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25824517)

I think the best model that any show has come up with is South Park's. Every episode from every season posted online, full, without commercials. The newest episodes are posted the week after they air.

This policy has encouraged me to watch South Park. And what do you know: I even watch it on TV sometimes. +1 viewership by enlightened understanding of digital distribution.
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