Whenever you’re watching the latest music video from Katy Perry or Justin Bieber, chances are you’re watching it through Vevo, a music video website which features content from three of the four largest record labels. If they’re a big deal musically, they’re probably on Vevo.
Vevo’s presence on YouTube is a big draw for the video sharing site and is the company’s most watched channel. But what happens if you took Vevo out of YouTube’s successful equation? This would likely bring traffic down for the site and possibly accelerate the rise of a music video-sharing company that would rival YouTube.
Vevo founder Doug Morris has threatened Google by saying that Vevo will look for a different home for its music videos by the end of the year. Why? They want Google to reduce the fees to put their videos on their platform.
Morris told the Los Angeles Times this week, “Google is charging us a lot of money to put our videos on their platform, and we would like them to reduce their fees. If not, there are at least three other companies who want to take our videos.”
He emphasized in the same article that while Google has been good partners, the current rates makes it harder for Vevo to remain sustainable on the site.
He said, “The videos are expensive to produce. And there are many mouths to feed on our end. You have to pay the artist, the record companies, the publishers.”
Losing Vevo to a company like Apple or Microsoft would mean a serious threat to Google, which has made efforts to transform itself as an incubator of organic viral content to emphasizing original channels to woo more advertisers.
Mike Mozart of the Jeepersmedia channel on YouTube said that if Vevo’s threats of pulling out of the site come to fruition, it would have both a negative and positive effect on the community.
He told NMR:
“It’s going to be quite a downfall. I think it would be devastating to YouTube’s traffic but then again, all of us small partners that have been given the shaft will all of a sudden find out that there’s viewers for us instead of having [the views] directed to Vevo.”
The absence of Vevo on YouTube may certainly mean less advertising money and, more importantly, views, but Mozart emphasized that creators could come out on top from such a threat.
Mozart added, “It might have a positive effect on creators seeing that the Vevo traffic that comes [to YouTube] seems to be taking up an awful amount of views, particularly since the algorithm change has unfavored creators massively…I think if Vevo was gone, people would still come to YouTube for entertainment as a free, cheap and nice platform. It will bring more monetizable views for partners.”
Vevo pulling out of YouTube will ultimately become a watershed moment for the video sharing website. While the absence of the largest channel on the site may mean less access to chart-topping music videos and a drop of viewership, it sets up an opportunity for independent creators rekindling the good old days of YouTube where the possibility of getting featured and the aspects of a community made it appealing for viewers.
We hope that music videos by major artists will have a home on YouTube, but if that doesn’t happen, at least we can find comfort in talented independent artists.