If you’ve been surfing around YouTube as of late to watch music videos, you may have noticed an odd logo popping up in the pre-roll that says “Vevo.” What is it? What does it mean?
Officially launched on Dec. 9th, 2009, Vevo.com has been described by some as “the Hulu of music videos”, and that may come not only from it serving up online video, but the fact that the physical appearance of the site bares a striking resemblance to the site so well known for TV shows.
The site is co-owned by Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Abu Dhabi Media Company, and features music from three of the largest music companies: EMI, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. All of the hosting is taken care of by YouTube, and Google (YouTube’s parent company) shares advertising revenue with the Vevo partners.
Viewers are given an assortment of tools to share and embed videos, as well as purchase songs they like from Amazon and the iTunes Store. Quite handy is the “Lyrics” button at the bottom of the videos so you can clearly read what some of the mumbly singers are actually singing about.
While the site is slick and easy to use, it isn’t seeing the huge traffic one might expect. According to Compete, Vevo has 925,968 unique visitors in Jan. of this year, while in comparison, Hulu had 8,546,279. And according to recent information, 25 percent of Vevo’s traffic is made up from people watching Lady Gaga videos. No new videos from here for a while and one has to wonder what will happen to the site’s traffic.
It appears that beyond making money, Vevo might have also been launched as a way to get tighter controls on how some music videos are delivered. Currently Vevo is only available to users in a handful of countries, and if you visit the site from one not yet services, you are told that it may be coming some day later. As the information from Vevo is now what powers those same videos on YouTube, users there are finding themselves locked out of the content if they come from one of those same countries.
So, what do you think? Was it wise for the music companies to go off on their own to show their videos across the Web? Those living in countries where they used to be able to watch whatever they wanted on YouTube probably aren’t too happy, but that’s the music industry for you. It is nice to see the videos presented in a larger, clearer picture, but from a business perspective, it seems like the site is off to a slow start, and that makes you wonder how long the record labels will be willing to support it.
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