In searching for a way to remain relevant as a parody artist in 2014, Weird Al may have stumbled onto something much bigger. He has evolved Beyonce’s visual album into something more adaptable, and those who pay attention can reap for the benefits. Let’s break Weird Al’s strategy into three elements – Building awareness, Supplementing cost, Reframing the album.

When it came time for Weird Al to release Mandatory Fun, his 14th (and perhaps final) studio album, he was well aware the double-edged effect YouTube had on his popularity. The challenge for me is in finding new ways to be funny,” he said in a Reddit IAMA, “as well as finding ways to differentiate myself from the millions of other people now doing parody videos on YouTube.” That approach led him to #8videos8days, which has proved an effective approach. Just a week after its release, Weird Al’s “Word Crimes” already has close to ten million views. It will certainly eclipse “Perform This Way” soon.

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