Facebook is looking to oust YouTube as the primary site for hosting and streaming music videos from Vevo.
Facebook has tentatively been venturing into the online music scene during the past few months. In September, the world’s largest social networking site launched Facebook Music, which lets users share real-time information about what they’re listening to and what kind of music they like. Earlier this month, the website implemented a music-sharing feature. The new button says “Listen With” and Facebook users who are subscribed to Spotify, MOG, or Rdio can see what other users are listening to, click on the same song their friend is listening to, start listening in the same spot to the same song, and even start chatting about it. However, Facebook still doesn’t drive any music service. But the company is hoping to change that in the near future, perhaps with Vevo.
Vevo is a joint-venture music video website between Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media. The site also has a licensing deal with EMI. All the videos on Vevo however are hosted and streamed via YouTube. Introduced in 2009, Vevo signed a contract with YouTube for the Google video site to host their content until 2013. As the end of the contract approaches, Facebook is trying to get its foot in the door to become Vevo’s new site to host and stream videos.
Right now, everything is still very tentative. CNET sources have said that at least two meetings have taken place between Facebook and Vevo about a possible contract to replace YouTube in the future. The business model that Vevo and YouTube set up is that both companies would sell ad space for the Vevo videos on Vevo and on YouTube, and both companies would split the profits. Facebook is interested in the same kind of deal.
One of Facebook’s biggest goals is to keep users on the website longer. Vevo can provide the perfect tool to do that: free music listening for users through music videos. And even though Vevo might not necessarily be a household name yet, the site was number two (behind YouTube) in its number of unique visitors according to a study conducted by Nielsen. Not too shabby for a company that’s only been in business for two years.
But this isn’t only a gain for Facebook. Vevo would be moving to a site that people spend more time on in general. Also, in the past, Vevo (or more specifically, the owners behind Vevo, like Sony and Universal Music Group) has butted heads with Google’s video-sharing site over copyright and licensing issues.
One of YouTube’s built-in features for its users is the option to insert music clips into videos. YouTube has gone to bat for its users to license music from three of the four big music labels to make that option legally available for YouTube video makers. Some thought the negotiations (which happened earlier this month) to renew these licensing deals would be tense, due to complaints from the RIAA and music-industry lobbyists that YouTube still permitted too many illegal versions of songs to be uploaded to YouTube. However, despite the record labels increasing their licensing fees, Google agreed to pay them and the contracts were all renewed.
But, in the end, YouTube and Vevo have both profited a lot from their partnership. YouTube helped to create the back-end that makes Vevo run, and Vevo is best known for their YouTube account videos.
The impetus behind creating Vevo was headed by Doug Morris, head of the Universal Music Group. In the 1980s, the recording industry gave MTV the rights to their music videos for free due to an underestimate of what the channel would become. Oops. Determined to not miss the boat on the next trend for music videos, Morris rallied three of the big four music labels to create Vevo.
The bottom line: music videos have been around for awhile now, and they aren’t going anywhere soon, thanks to the cloud. Check out NetHosting’s cloud hosting options to take advantage of the benefits of the cloud computing.