The Musicless Music Video as a Spreadable Meme Video: Format, User Interaction, and Meaning on YouTube

Cande Sánchez-Olmos, Eduardo Viñuela


The aim of this article is to analyze the musicless music video—that is, a user-generated parodic musicless of the official music video circulated in the context of online participatory culture. We understand musicless videos as spreadable content that resignifies the consumption of the music video genre, whose narrative is normally structured around music patterns. Based on the analysis of the 22 most viewed musicless videos (with more than 1 million views) on YouTube, we aim, first, to identify the formal features of this meme video format and the characteristics of the online channels that host these videos. Second, we study whether the musicless video generates more likes, dislikes, and comments than the official music video. Finally, we examine how the musicless video changes the multimedia relations of the official music video and gives way to new relations among music, image, and text to generate new meanings.


music video, music meme, YouTube, participatory culture, spreadable media, interaction

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