THE INTERACTIVE MUSIC VIDEO: A New, Immersive Experience in Music

You control the video's destiny

Technology has always influenced trends in the world of music. From the introduction of the music video to the ability to stream your favourite song on demand, the way we interact with music has evolved over time to suit the changing needs of the audience. A new trend, the interactive music video, seeks to draw the audience in to offer a more holistic experience by setting music to some sort of call to action. Whether it’s only a fleeting experiment or the next norm, it’s interesting to witness the intersection of music and technology take new form. Here are six videos you should play with:

Start by choosing your own adventure equipped with a pocket-knife, watch or pen and follow the story of young man chasing his phantasmal lady-love. Through various points in the video, the viewer can take a different path – bear or bird? The possibility of outcomes makes you want to watch the video just enough times to make the song stick in your head.

Just when you thought it couldn’t be more enjoyable to listen to Dylan, a D-list reality TV star goes ahead and somehow makes it better. Imagine watching TV with your earbuds in and everyone on the screen is singing the same lyrics. Go ahead, flip the channels! Everyone from the local sports caster to anxious bachelorettes awaiting a rose ceremony are all mouthing, ‘How does it feel?!’

This video takes place in various locations in an underwhelming suburb featuring faceless zombie-like suburbanites imprisoned in a dance number. Using your webcam, you have to dance along to keep the video moving forward. Of course, you can choose the ‘mouse’ option, but who doesn’t want to attempt to mirror Regine’s free-as-a-bird dance moves?

Another interesting one from Arcade Fire! Before being able to manipulate this music video using your mouse, you’re asked to allow access to your computer’s webcam. You just about forget this detail as a light show dances across the screen until a shattered mirror shows your own reflection. How deep!

Take a trip through three parallel versions of the video using your keyboard as your guide. If experienced without any interaction, the video is a cartoon equipped with dancing bats and a cartoon Jack removing his own tongue. Press the ‘3’ key and you’ll experience human Jack singing in a dim room alongside a dancing man in a plastic mask or rocking out to the air violin. Press the ‘B’ key and you’re taken to a white brick parking lot where tattooed, leather-clad, head-banging adults are dancing up a storm.

As the title of the song suggests, this interactive video asks that you click on various animated objects to see them transform. Start in a bedroom where you can click on the garbage and watch what (or who) pops out, move on to an image of Ty’s face and play Mr. Potato with him, and by the end, find yourself in a desert where a cactus becomes a pair of sexy legs with a click of a button. You are a manipulator, after all!