YouTube said in a blog post that the “Bohemian Rhapsody” video is “generally recognized as the first-ever promotional music video,” and it set the standard for the genre.
YouTube marked the milestone with the release of a newly remastered HD version of the video on the band’s channel, as well as the ability for fans to view the song’s lyrics in languages including English, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, Polish, German, Indonesian Bahasa, Korean, Czech, Russian and Turkish.
Queen, YouTube Music, Universal Music Group and Hollywood Records also teamed up on You Are the Champions, an initiative that allows fans to show their creative sides with three of the band’s iconic tracks.
Musicians, singers and instrumentalists can upload their takes on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Dancers can present their interpretations of “Don’t Stop Me Now,” and Polly Bennett, Rami Malek’s movement coach from the Bohemian Rhapsody film, created a special instructional video. And visual artists can design any word or phrase from the lyrics for “A Kind of Magic.”
Some of those videos will appear on the official Queen YouTube channel later this year.
YouTube global head of music Lyor Cohen said in the blog post, “’Bohemian Rhapsody’ is a sonic and cinematic masterpiece that’s one of the most enduring songs of all-time. The newly remastered video on YouTube will ensure that the song continues to be rediscovered, embraced and beloved by old and new generations of music fans around the world. It’s incredible to help change the way fans experience music and provide a place for artist and fan connections worldwide.”
Universal Music Group general manager, commercial, content and artist strategy Celine Joshua added, “We are thrilled that Queen’s iconic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ video has reached a historic 1 billion views on YouTube. Now, together with Queen, YouTube and Hollywood Records, we are excited to launch You Are the Champions, an innovative, new user-generated video campaign with Queen’s incredible fans around the world at its core. This will be the first of a series of custom initiatives we have planned in the coming months on the official Queen channel.”
And founding Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor said, “We are honored that ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has just hit 1 billion views on YouTube. We want to thank you all and celebrate with our amazing fans all around the world by creating three new music videos to our songs, all featuring you, whether you are a musician, singer, dancer, visual artist or you just want to have some fun. Go to youarethechampions.com to find out more, and we’ll see you on the road somewhere.”