First published on http://www.csmonitor.com/
What’s more, the rise of YouTube, Vine, and all other manner of social media – as well as the breakneck pace with which we consume our entertainment – have made it possible for thousands of aspiring Weird Al’s to create and release their own “Happy” parodies with the click of a button. In comparison, the process of creating and releasing a full music album is downright glacial.
But Weird Al has managed to adapt, and reaped the benefits. To promote “Mandatory Fun,” he launched a full-scale assault online, debuting a new music video for a song from the album every day leading up to its release on popular comedy sites like “Nerdist” and “Funny or Die.” It worked: the videos racked up a combined 20 million views during the week, and “Mandatory Fun” sold 104,000 copies during its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan nearly twice the debut sales of his 2011 effort, “Alpocalypse.”