VEVO invades video sharing

Holly Chisholm

     Frequent visitors of YouTube may have acknowledged the increasingly noticeable presence of advertising banners adorning favorite music videos. These omnipresent logos and ads are the product of the video advertising company VEVO which launched in December 2009. The VEVO website had an astonishing number of views upon its opening, overshooting even estimates for its yearly goal. The site now gets over 60 million visitors each month and about 1.7 billion worldwide streams in the U.S. and Canada. Despite being riddled with glitches and other problems, its popularity has risen quickly over the past year to become one of the most comprehensive music video streaming sites, partnering with internet giants like YouTube to increase their audience.

     The company’s president and CEO, Rio D. Caraeff, has confirmed that VEVO’s goal is ultimately profit, both for the artists and for VEVO itself. About 50 percent of ad sales go directly back to the artist, and the VEVO site has a shop where fans can buy artist’s merchandise. It also provides links directly to iTunes and Amazon to make purchasing an artist’s songs easier. VEVO intends to collectively organize music videos in a single comprehensive and professional way. Already boasting an extensive library of music from major record groups such as Universal Music Group (UMG), Sony Music Entertainment (SME) and the Abu Dhabi Media Company, the company will continue to grow over the coming years. No more clicking through pages of YouTube videos to find a high quality version of a favorite song; it’s most likely on VEVO.

      “It can definitely help get more music out there and to a wider audience. I mean, once a band starts getting pretty well known, you need some form of money to help constitute it.” Austin Miles, senior said. “But this could create more of an easy market than art.”

     Quite a few people are unhappy about VEVO, arguing that the company has purely profit-driven motives.

     “Sure, it’s nice for bands that are signed with a record label,” Liano Perez, senior, said. “But VEVO writes off smaller bands because they will focus on promoting the bigger, more profitable ones.”

     As VEVO continues to grow, their viewers can only hope that ad space stays to a minimum and that a wide variety of music is presented. Plans are in the works for VEVO to expand their already far-reaching corporate image beyond music videos and merchandise as the company hopes to expand on its original content with band interviews and live concerts. Love it or hate it, the advertising conglomerate is poised to stick around for a while.