Music video platform Vevo plans to cut its mobile apps and consumer-facing website to focus more on streaming content and selling ads on Google’s YouTube, per a blog post. Vevo plans to keep investing in original content, such as its dscvr and LIFT programs that highlight emerging artists.
The company plans to focus on engaging the biggest audiences and pursuing growth opportunities, including the possibility of working with other platforms to distribute its content. Vevo is run by a joint venture of Universal Music Group, Google, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media.
Viewers who have used Vevo’s apps and website will be given access to software tools to import their playlists and other features to YouTube, per TechCrunch.
The escalating war among digital music platforms has drawn blood again, highlighting the challenges that traditional music companies are having gaining a foothold in digital consumption. Vevo had previously tried to forge its own path as a music video platform but will now continue in a much less prominent position that will see it relying on YouTube for the distribution of music videos. Vevo created the apps for mobile and TV-connected devices, and former CEO Erik Huggers even considered starting a paid subscription service for music videos, per Variety. Vevo has seen an exodus of executives after Huggers left the company in December.
Vevo’s greater dependence on YouTube comes as the Google-owned video service starts a paid YouTube Music subscription service to compete with Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. YouTube Music last week relaunched its subscription service that's has a free, ad-supported version or an ad-free tier that costs $9.99 a month with various bundle options for other Google services. YouTube Music eventually will replace Google Play Music and the music component of YouTube Red, per Variety.
Meanwhile, there is speculation that Amazon will create a YouTube rival for its video platforms, including the voice-enabled Echo Show that is powered by the Amazon Alexa digital assistant. Amazon filed trademark requests in December for Amazontube and Opentube, per Digital Trends. Amazon that month also registered the AlexaOpenTube.com, AmazonAlexaTube.com, and AmazonOpenTube.com domain names, per Domain Name Wire. Amazon in 2016 also created a self-service platform for video creators called Amazon Video Direct, per Bloomberg.