This is Spotlight Conversation #2 from our Talking About Creativity event in San Francisco, March 17, 2012.
Ed Sanders, formerly of YouTube, now Group Marketing Manager of the Creative Lab at Google, and Margo Drakos, cellist turned tech entrepreneur and Co-founder of InstantEncore, talk about the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, how technology can serve as a tool for classical musicians, the need to embrace change, plus much more. Moderated by Steven Winn.
The YouTube Symphony Orchestra started out as a suggestion from a young marketing employee in London. What if…? What if we could bring together classical music enthusiasts dispersed across the globe? How could technology bring this community together? 30+ million views later, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra became an international phenomenon and in this Q&A Ed Sanders—formerly of YouTube, now Group Marketing Manager of the Creative Lab at Google—explains how that happened.
Question: What brought about the development of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra? Was it that YouTube noticed that the genre was developing in popularity? Or what make the organization feel it would be an interesting activity to present in such a futuristic way?
Ed Sanders: YouTube and Google have always prided themselves on having a distinctly entrepreneurial culture. This is a reflection of that. The idea came from a young marketing employee in the London office, who dreamed up the idea, pitched it, and it became reality. One of the major original data points which piqued interest was the massive yet highly fragmented existing classical music which lived online on platforms like YouTube. But the concept itself is merely one example of an ongoing demo which perhaps only YouTube could do – a manifestation of a wonderful way to showcase the access which YouTube provides, to transcend linguistic and geographic boundaries, and to continually strive to challenge the status quo.
Question: What do you think captured the imagination of viewers about this project? Was part of it this idea that it was so accessible, available to anyone with a computer? (more…)