YouTube Music is unveiling today a brand new promotional content and creator discovery concept to fete Billie Eilish’s hit track, “Bad Guy,” which just joined the 1 billion views club — marking the 18-year-old’s first track to do so.
To celebrate, YouTube Music is introducing Billie Eilish: Infinite Bad Guy — what it’s billing as “the world’s first living music video.” For the experience, YouTube has pulled 15,000 “Bad Guy” cover videos onto a standalone website at billie.withyoutube.com (pictured below), where viewers can scroll through endlessly. Notably, all of the covers have been synced, so that when viewers navigate to the next cover artist, the track picks up right where it left off.
All told, there are billions of different viewing combinations, YouTube says, making each sequence unique. Other than autoplay, viewers can also navigate the ‘Infinite Bad Guy’ website via hashtag, instruments, or genres — while clicking through at any time to a creator’s channel if a particular cover catches their eye. (Creators with eligible videos can opt into or out of the project via a ‘manage’ tab on the website, YouTube says).
YouTube’s global head of artist relations, Vivien Lewit, says that the venture marks a one-off — for now — and won’t necessarily be created for every music video that surpasses 1 billion views from here on out. That said, it’s possible that the format could live on with other artists. The team chose to pilot the idea with Eilish, Lewit says, because “Bad Guy” is one of the most-covered songs on YouTube.
The infinite music video concept was developed by YouTube and Google Creative Lab — an interdisciplinary team of designers, writers, business leaders, filmmakers, animators, producers, and creative technologists housed within YouTube’s parent company that has created over 1,500 so-called ‘experiments’ to date. These experiments are artistically-inclined tech ventures that harness Google products like Chrome, Android, and more. Most recently, for instance, the team created a way for users to celebrate the Indian holiday of Diwali using augmented reality.
The Google Creative Lab harnessed machine learning to align the audio from cover videos with different tempos, instruments, keys, and styles, YouTube says.
And this isn’t the first time that YouTube Music has worked alongside Eilish on a promotional content venture. She was the first artist, for instance, to be tapped by the platform for a short-form series in Feb. 2019 pairing buzzy singers with other video creatives.
Eilish has amassed 4 billion views on her official YouTube channel in 2020 to date, where she counts 35 million subscribers.
You can check out a trailer for the venture below, or experience it for yourself right here.