Before coming to Vevo, 10-year tech-industry vet Julie Lee spent time at Universal Music Group’s successful eLabs division, where she devised partnership-development deals with Apple, Best Buy, and Walmart. Now, as SVP of Vevo’s growth strategy, she’s tasked with making the online music-video service the Hulu of the music industry.
Like Hulu, Vevo licenses videos from big-name companies — in this case, record labels — and syndicates them across a variety of channels, from AOL to YouTube. This broadcast strategy lures in higher-paying advertisers, who want to distinguish their brands from the plethora of user-uploaded Web content (e.g. dogs skateboarding). “YouTube means too many things,” Lee says. “You can view pretty much any type of content your heart desires, but at the same time, there’s a very big challenge monetizing that.”
With backing from EMI, Sony, and Universal, Lee has helped develop Vevo into a premium music-video experience that’s rapidly growing in popularity. “One of the key things we look at is ubiquity,” she says — and a year after its launch, Vevo is everywhere. It’s now the #1 music-entertainment service online, and recently cracked the top-10 for all streaming video sites, averaging 35 million unique hits a month. About 10% of viewers are also heading directly to Vevo.com, a number the company didn’t expect to reach for three to four years. –Austin Carr