I wrote this morning about how the future of online video marketing can be glimpsed just by watching what the band OK Go is doing with video–creative, envelope-pushing, inventive, etc. Another way brands and companies are expanding the definition of what the “video experience” can be is through interactive video.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have followed in the footsteps of bands like Arcade Fire by creating an interactive music video experience–one where the viewer controls the camera.

Red Hot Chili Peppers Interactive Music Video

We’ve seen 360-degree video before–where the viewer can pan and zoom and control the camera while a truck drives down a road or a helicopter flies over a mountain. It’s typically using a technology that is similar to The Matrix’s bullet time–with multiple cameras set up, each at slightly varied angles, to catch all possible angles.

Now see it in a rock-n-roll context, as you get to choose which Chili Pepper band member the camera focuses on:

This is more than a simple button click the audience is getting here… it’s way beyond “interactive.” It practically lets the viewer become the director of the music video.

Each time a viewer watches this video they can end up with an entirely different experience–there are even Easter Eggs in the video for the fans able to spot them.

A few notes: this interactive video appears to work across all current browsers–at least the ones I tested (Chrome, Explorer, & Firefox)–though I have had some issues with the sound and volume here and there.


I hear a lot of people–those reluctant to embrace video–who say things like “I personally would rather read… because I can skim or speed read and get the content I need faster… whereas with a video I have to wait until it’s done and go at the creator’s pace.” And while I think there are certainly people out there who feel that way, they’re going to lose that excuse sooner or later, as interactive video continues expanding its capabilities.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are a popular band… they’re not going to struggle to find views for a standard music video. But they don’t want to just crank out the standard video… they’d rather give the fans an experience. Video takes words and makes them engaging. Interactivity takes video and makes it immersive.

Static video is dominating right now… but the real power of online video lies in all the cool stuff it’s going to do in a few years that we haven’t even dreamed of yet.