Music videos are already really popular on YouTube. In fact, 10 of the 15 most popular videos of all-time on the website are official music videos, uploaded by the record companies themselves. Nonetheless, YouTube and Universal Music Group are trying something new, and have announced plans to launch a website called Vevo that will feature “premium video content.”
Why launch a separate website to do what YouTube already does well, and is planning to emphasize even further in an upcoming redesign? YouTube offers a somewhat vague explanation: “We’re hopeful that this partnership will set a positive example of how the digital and music industries can work together. Moreover, VEVO gives users a deeper, more immersive music experience.”
The New York Times gets to the heart of the issue though, reporting that “some of the original licensing deals between labels and YouTube have expired recently, and negotiations over renewals have dragged on. Music companies have been seeking better terms for their contracts, which have included a small fee for every video watched and a share of advertising revenue.” Moreover, the two sides were reportedly brought to the bargaining table by none other than Bono, so how could they possibly resist?