YouTube Not Immune to Carriage Wars Either: A Little Channel Called VEVO

YouTube Not Immune to Carriage Wars Either: A Little Channel Called VEVO

Is everybody in the entertainment business fighting right now?  We've got Viacom and DirecTV, AMC and DISH, and the one that's been brewing for some time and has been getting some discussion is the disagreement between YouTube and multi-label-owned VEVO, which is one of the most popular channels on YouTube and does pretty well on its own.  But this has been a fruitful partnership where both parties benefit by having each other, and while VEVO can always go to Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon, YouTube is still a place where people believe they can get every video they want.  Forcing them to go elsewhere is bad for both parties.

Now, according to the Los Angeles Times, if YouTube doesn't give VEVO a better deal after their existing contract expires at the end of the year, they may just take their services elsewhere.

VEVO and YouTube: Separation Would Be Bad for Both

From the Los Angeles Times, when they talked to VEVO founder Doug Morris:

Google is charging us a lot of money to put our videos on their platform, and we would like them to reduce their fees," Morris told The Times in the first public airing of his grievances. "If not, there are at least three other companies who want to take our videos.

This is classic chicken-or-the-egg type of dilemma.  VEVO has a tremendous platform in YouTube to show videos and they get billions of views.  YouTube is an excellent place to go find music videos.  It has become in many ways a personal music collection for a lot of people.  That's why the views are in the stratosphere.  This is possible with the ease of use of YouTube.

But at the same time, YouTube needs this kind of channel.  To have VEVO, which is run in tandem with Sony, Universal, and Abu Dhabi, along with EMI's music catalog, you can find almost everyone you want to see, and it's all licensed and legitimate.  It's one of the very biggest draws in going to YouTube.  And without it, a huge reason why people go to the site will be gone.  Sure, they'll still have the how-tos and the big creators, but a lot of luster will be lost when you want to find a video quickly and realize that you now have to go to another site to find them.

A separation would be bad for both parties.  VEVO won't get nearly the traffic that they would get with the ease-of-use of YouTube, and YouTube would have a huge gaping hole in their programming if they left.

The LA Times story is a good read with an interview with Morris, who does not run VEVO anymore but stays very close to the operations as the head of Sony Music.

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About the Author -
Chris Atkinson joined ReelSEO in 2011. He is a longtime film and television reviewer, and has almost two decades of experience in the theater industry. He also writes on his personal blog - http://nymoviereviews.com. View All Posts By -

What do you think? ▼
  • andreibuspro

    Great review . We may not know what would happen then but you were able to forecast the possible consequence of both actions. Thanks for sharing.

  • gregjarboe

    Chris, it would be a shame if Vevo and YouTube parted company. But the music industry may be overplaying its hand in these negotiations. If you use Google Insights for Search, you'll see that web search interest in "music video" and "music videos" peaked in December 2005. In July 2012, web search interest in "music video" is just 34% of the peak and web search interest in "music videos" is just 19% of the peak. If you use Compete, you'll see that YouTube.com had 152.7 million unique visitors in May 2012, while Vevo.com had 5.1 million.So, I'm sure the music industry wants a bigger share of the pie, but does it deserve it? I know Doug Morris told the LA Times that he'd pull Vevo's music videos from YouTube and shop them around to its competitors if it doesn't give him a better deal, but this reminds me of the scene in Blazing Saddles where Bart pulls a gun on himself and threatens to blow his head all over this town if the townspeople don't drop their guns. Yes, he was talented. And, yes, they were dumb. But does Vevo really think it can pull of that stunt again?

    • Chris Atkinson

      gregjarboe They very well could be overplaying their hand.  I don't think one side works without the other, really.  There's no doubt VEVO has a very small audience compared to the whole of YouTube, but when combined with them, the results are through the roof. But I wonder how search has changed since 2005.  Do people really type in "music video" anymore when they look for music videos?  Don't they just type in "Justin Bieber" or "Lady Gaga" or the artist/song name?  Back in 2005, YouTube was in its first year, and an awful lot has changed since then.  The volume of material on YouTube has increased so much, the peak of "music video" searches was due for a regression, but I think the results split off into individual artists.  I think an aggregate for searches of the top artists in the past 7 years might explain where "music video" popularity actually went, if it went anywhere at all.I love the Blazing Saddles reference.

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