Straight No Chaser: Youtube giveth, Warner taketh away.

Many of you will remember last years Christmas music sensation brought to you via Youtube. The group “Straight No Chaser” was an male acapela group originally founded in 1996 at Indiana University, ten years later Indiana Univeristy invited the original members got back together for a reunion concert. One of the group’s founders compiled old concert video into a DVD and posted some of the footage on youtube for friends.

Here’s the beauty of the internet… They didn’t promote it. Word just spread around and in December 2007 the Youtube video of Straight No Chaser Singing 12 Days of Christmas went…  hmm, where does a youtube single go? I guess you could classify it as multi-platinum. I recall showing the video to family members while visiting before christmas, when the youtube video had a mere three million views. I know it made almost eight million views by christmas.

Other people were watching too. Including the CEO of Atlantic Records who has since signed them to a contract and they’ve produced a major label Christmas album. Holiday Spirits I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this album, especially Carol of the Bells. Anyway…

These guys had long since gone there separate ways and on to different things. But thanks to amazing power of viral marketing the right people saw them. Knowing that SNC had such a following on the internet, signing them to a deal would be a no brainer.

Fast forward one year to Chirstmas 2008 (current). Warner Music Group and Youtube are in nasty contract renewal negotiations, regardless of which side you’re on, it’s a mess. Warner Music Group has pulled all of it’s music from youtube. It gets kinda funny somewhere right about… here. You see… Atlantic is part of the Warner Group, so Straight No Chaser is now in a contract under the Warner Music Group. All their music videos (past or present) are licensed by the Warner Music Group. And get this…  can no longer be viewed on youtube.

So let’s review. These guys are crazy talented. They are also crazy lucky that youtube made them crazy famous. And now… the video that made them famous in the first place can no longer be seen on Youtube due to Warner Music Group pulling the license for it. Crazy.


I saw the SNC guys on the Today Show this morning, trust me, I don’t watch the Today show either. I turned on the TV and before I could switch it I heard them start singing. They did a great job, once I realized their album was out I had to get a copy. I must say… it’s great. It’s called; Holiday Spirits and is one of the best, original Christmas albums I’ve heard in a long, long time.

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