Vevo Stumbles Out of the Gate



If Vevo is supposed to be the future of the music industry, that future has gotten off to a slow and ignominious start. Apparently Vevo’s servers are still hungover from a wild night of partying with Bono, Adam Lambert, Mariah Carey, and Lady Gaga, because it’s the day after launch and the new music video site is slow to load — that is, if you can get it to load at all.

The Universal Music Group-Sony Music joint venture has big aspirations for revolutionizing the way that viewers interact with artists and their music videos — and for better monetizing those videos with ads from premium brands running alongside them.

At last night’s launch event, Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff stressed that building a positive user experience would be key to the site’s success. “If we focus on the fan, if we focus on the experience, the rest will fall in line,” he said. But the user experience thus far has been sub-optimal, to say the least.

Vevo acknowledged as much through Twitter late last night, copping to a “launch overload,” and saying that the Vevo team was “working on it.” But that was more than eight hours ago, and I still can’t get a video to load.

In response to a request for comment, a Vevo spokesperson wrote, “The traffic is experiencing right now has exceeded even our largest expectations and is multiple orders of magnitude above what any other online video service has generated at its launch. The VEVO team is working diligently to enhance the infrastructure required to more than meet the demands of the tens of millions of users who are trying to access the site on day one.”

While the technical problems might be temporary, it’s difficult to overlook the embarrassment some people in the industry may be feeling after talking up a “revolutionary” new site, only to watch it stumble on its first day in business.