Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff: 'We Want to Reinvent Music Videos'

2:41 PM PST 03/11/2011 by Karen Bliss, Billboard

The music video service saw viewership swell to 56 million in January 2011. The company boasts 350 brands as advertisers.

The opening day of Canadian Music Week (being held at Toronto's Fairmont Royal York Hotel and convention center from March 9 - 13) included a keynote by Vevo president and CEO Rio Caraeff about how its "audience business" is monetizing music video views on YouTube with advertising and revealed new information about the company's growth.

From January 2010 to January 2011, 36 million unique visitors swelled to 56 million; and 32 million unique viewers to 51 million. There were 2.2 billion streams a month worldwide. He said 350 brands are now onboard to buy advertising.

Vevo has partnerships for music videos with Sony Music, Universal Music, EMI Music and smaller companies such as the Orchard and Koch. But his stat-laden presentation also included a video about its live events and original programming, and a power point presentation (that stopped working) that laid out Vevo's business model and accomplishments to date.
 
"A lot of people don't know about our live events business, our original programming business," he said. "Clearly what we did last year was to say, 'We've got to figure out a way to make more money around these videos.' But we can't just rest on these videos…we wanted to try and help reinvent music videos. We wanted to help create more music programming."
 
In 2010, Caraeff says Vevo helped produce and distribute over 25 live events and over 100 episodes of original programming. On March 9, the company announced that the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tennessee June 9 to 12 will be live streamed across the Vevo platform, in the U.S., Canada "and hopefully in other countries."
 
"We will be making all of those performances available live, all of the performances available on demand or afterwards and also creating new content with Bonnaroo leading up to the festival."
 
Vevo's is an audience business, he said. "The way I look at it is there's everybody on the planet who loves music; you're not going to get everybody on the planet to buy music."
 
The model attempts to make money from the fan's attention, time and willingness to watch music videos, he said, restore the premium value of the format and generate a significant amount of revenue on a per view, per stream basis.
 
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