Vevo’s overhaul is aimed at getting out of YouTube’s shadow

CIOL Writers
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CIOL Vevo’s overhaul is aimed at getting out of Youtube’s shadow

Vevo, the music video service, part-owned by Sony and Universal Music has got a revamped look and design that includes a neat feature on its iOS and Android apps that lets users “stretch” a video so it will play vertically, just like Snapchat.


The app has also announced plans to update its programming and said it has hired actual human beings who will host the videos, on and off the service.

Vevo has long desired to get out of the shadow of YouTube and get people to consume more videos on its own platform precisely because that would mean more money from ads. And also because, at some point this year, it wants to start selling a subscription service that will only work on its own properties.

"We want to be all about the artists," Vevo CEO Erik Huggers said during a press event. The reboot includes a more minimalistic look, plus a push towards more independent and original content creation, like TV show-style franchise videos. The company says it will also use a more editorial-style approach through partnerships with hosts, music curators, and music magazine The Fader.


Vevo currently has 400 million active monthly users. 60 percent of them view Vevo-generated content on their mobile devices, so a mobile-rooted strategy seemed like an appropriate next step for the company, which says it will now debut 30 to 40 new music videos every week.

The rebranded app seems like a Youtube-meets-Spotify crossover, but Huggers believes Vevo can continue to provide music videos for YouTube while ushering in a video product of their own. "YouTube is a one-size-fits-all platform for video, while Vevo is just about the music video experience," he said. "I think there's room for both in the marketplace."

But as a majority of Vevo's views come from YouTube, Huggers was quick to describe YouTube as an "incredibly important distribution partner."

In the coming weeks, Vevo will also be releasing new Apple TV and Android apps with the same curation elements, an updated embeddable video player, and a redesigned website. Huggers also said he hopes to work towards an offline viewing element, similar to Spotify's premium feature, in the future.