Music video site Vevo ready for launch

MUMBAI: Developed and hosted by YouTube, Sony and Google, online music video site Vevo is set to launch today as both a website and an embedded video player that will replace Universal, Sony and EMI videos now available on Google Inc.‘s video site YouTube.

With content being initially provided by Universal Music Group, the website will feature artistes under EMI Group PLC that comprises crooners like Norah Jones, Coldplay and Katy Perry.

EMI‘s videos on Vevo will join content from Universal Music Group that holds the largest stake in the new venture. However, EMI will not take a stake in the company.

Sony Music Entertainment is also an equity partner along with Abu Dhabi Media Co, an arm of the Abu Dhabi government.

The Vevo website and player will also have links to allow viewers to buy songs from or Apple Inc.‘s iTunes. Links to artiste merchandise will point to Bravado, Universal‘s online retailing company.

Vevo has hired its own ad sales team that is led by CEO Rio Caraeff, a Universal digital strategy executive.

About 20 advertisers have signed on, including McDonald‘s Corp., MasterCard Inc., Unilever PLC and Nissan Motor Co.‘s Infiniti brand of luxury cars among others

As current licensing deals expire, throughout the next year, Vevo‘s player will gradually replace online videos that are on artiste websites and other online destinations such as AOL.

The recording companies, led by Universal, a unit of France‘s Vivendi SA, are seeking to gain a greater share of advertising revenue from music videos than is currently generated on sites such as YouTube.

Discussions are underway with Warner Music Group Corp., the only major recording company not yet involved with Vevo.

Music videos are headed to an online music video venture, Vevo, set to launch Tuesday with a gala in New York.

Faced with declining sales of compact discs, recording companies are experimenting with new ways of distributing their music online through ventures such as Vevo. It will show videos for free, supported by ads.
Such deals are not exclusive, however. Last month, EMI became the only major recording company to put its music videos on Hulu, which primarily carries television shows and movies.

They also seek to separate professionally produced content from the user-generated fare on YouTube, while better matching advertisers with a youthful demographic.

YouTube will receive a fee for providing Vevo with technology, but will not share in advertising revenue.

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