I mean, sure, there are similarities. Both sites offer high-quality video streams, attract blue-chip advertisers, and are backed by major industry players. (Vevo’s partners include Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI Music, which churn out a combined 80% of contemporary music videos.) But when Hulu launched, you couldn’t get full, decent-quality shows and movies on the Web unless you were a) streaming the limited selections on ABC.com, or b) downloading them illegially, via torrents or LimeWire. Music videos are everywhere.
What really makes Vevo worth your time–and this blog post–is its user experience. In essence, the site lets you to make your own ’80s-era MTV: Browse its 30,000 music videos, add up to 75 favorites to your queue, and voila! You’ve got hours and hours of (virtually) commercial-free music programming, all tailored to your specific tastes. As television- and Web-watching experiences merge (which, it turns out, may be happening slower than you think), this will be an even bigger deal.
Whether or not today’s Web users will actually spend more than 3 or 4 minutes watching music videos remains to be seen–especially if Vevo doesn’t fix its current lag times (which plagued several members of the Fast Company staff). But as
CD sales continue to slide and the profit margin on downloads remains
slim, Sony, Universal, and EMI are smart to monetize them: Even on YouTube, where the overall quality is vastly inferior to Vevo’s, music videos have already brought in 15 billion views. Plus, while Vevo sputtered and didn’t work so great this morning, YouTube had video of Lady Gaga performing at the Vevo launch party.
Somewhere, David Bowie is smiling: