Grooveshark to be sued by Warner and Sony

Will Grooveshark be the next LimeWire? The streaming music service is going to be sued by Warner Music and Sony Music, according to a report from the New York Times. This could mark a shift in litigation from P2P services to streaming music providers.

Michael Jackson lives on through crowdsourced music video

What do you do when you release a single from a posthumous album? To promote the new release “Behind the Mask,” Sony Music and Radical Media turned to Michael Jackson’s fans — literally — for an epic crowdsourced music video featuring contributions from 103 countries.

Upset YouTube Users Strike Back at Music Biz

Two German music fans were fed up with geo-blocking on YouTube, which has been preventing them from accessing music videos from major-label artists. So they turned the tables and started to block employees of major music labels from accessing popular blogs and other websites.

After a Month in Business, Vevo Already Tops in Music Video Traffic


Vevo logo

Vevo started off with a bang, further confirming what we already knew — that people really like watching music videos online. So much so, in fact, that the online music video site launched on Dec. 8 still managed to beat out existing sites like MySpace Music (s NWS), AOL Music (s AOL), Warner Music (s WMG) and MTV Networks Music (s VIA), while clocking more than 35 million viewers for the month.

Despite some early troubles on the destination site, the Vevo network drew 35.4 million unique users in December, according to comScore (s SCOR) Media Metrix. But it’s worth mentioning that not all of that traffic is attributable to — in fact, comScore’s numbers take into account all views on YouTube’s Vevo channel. It also counts all views that occur in the Vevo-branded player on third-party web sites, including artist sites such as

Vevo was formed as a joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, with financial backing from Abu Dhabi Media Co. and technology backing by YouTube (s goog). Like a “Hulu for music videos,” the company was created as a way to extract more value from music videos online, by creating a destination site that could demand higher CPMs than what record labels were getting from video-sharing sites like YouTube.

Why Vevo Will Fail

It makes sense that Vevo, the music video site that launched as a joint venture between Universal Music and Sony Music yesterday, is trying to cast itself as MTV meets Hulu. An unlikely underdog when it entered the scene back in early 2007, Hulu — a video platform backed by major broadcasters — sounded to many like a recipe for disaster. We gleefully ridiculed the venture, calling it names and predicting its imminent demise.

Boy were we wrong. At least in the U.S., Hulu has become practically synonymous with watching TV online. The site served an astonishing 856 million streams in October alone, according to comScore, and a few missteps along the way haven’t managed to substantially hurt the venture. Clearly, Vevo would like to follow Hulu’s rise to fame. I just don’t think it will happen. Vevo, in its current form, is doomed to fail.

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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.

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Bono: Vevo Is Rebirth of Music Industry

VevoOnline music video destination site Vevo launched tonight with an introduction by Bono, who forecast that the new site would strike a new paradigm in the music industry. “Friends, we are gathered here today to mourn the loss of a great old cash cow that was the music business,” Bono said. “But friends, we’re also here to celebrate new shoots, new life, and the birth of a new model for our industry.”

Taking a page out of Hulu CEO Jason Kilar’s playbook, Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff told the crowd at the company’s launch event in Manhattan that the new site would be all about the user experience. “If we focus on the fan, if we focus on the experience, the rest will fall in line,” Caraeff said. But then taking a page out the music industry’s playbook, he welcomed Mariah Carey, Adam Lambert and Lady Gaga to the stage. Let’s just say record labels don’t do humble very well.

Vevo will have a huge amount of video content at launch, as its owners control more than 80 percent of all music videos created. YouTube provides backend management for the videos and will also drive viewers to the new destination site. Read More about Bono: Vevo Is Rebirth of Music Industry

Vevo Gets Music Content from CBS Interactive

VEVO, the forthcoming music video site from Universal and Sony music (and powered by YouTube (s GOOG)), announced today that it will also be getting content from “the vaults” of CBS Interactive Music Group (s CBS).

Starting next year, VEVO will run programming from and more than 90 CBS radio stations. Content will include live performances and in-studio sessions, along with interviews and other exclusive behind-the-scenes stuff. VEVO also plans to make events like KROQ’s Acoustic Christmas concert available through the site.

VEVO is set to launch in the U.S. and Canada on Dec. 8th. In the meantime, the site’s blog launched a cute li’l video yesterday entitled “The Great VEVO Gummi Bear Battle,” which, we guess, is supposed to get us psyched for next week’s debut.

Vevo Gets a Launch Date

Vevo, the forthcoming music video site from Universal and Sony Music and powered by YouTube (s GOOG), announced via Twitter this afternoon that it is officially launching on Tues. Dec. 8th. Here’s a screen grab of the Tweet:

The only thing missing from Vevo’s Twitter post was a “suck it, Hulu!” (it still would have still been under 140 characters). Last night Hulu announced it was getting into the music video game in a very minimal way with a limited distribution deal with EMI, kicking off with a Norah Jones music video section.

Abu Dhabi Media Invests in Vevo

Vevo, the forthcoming premium music video site, has received a strategic investment from the Abu Dhabi Media Co. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but sources tell MediaMemo that the transaction values the venture at $300 million, which matches previous reported valuations Vevo was seeking during fund raising in August.

Vevo is owned by Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment (s SNE) and will be powered by YouTube. From the Abu Dhabi Media Co.’s web site:

Abu Dhabi Media Company is one of the fastest growing, multi-platform media organizations in the region created in 2007 as a public joint stock company from the assets of Emirates Media Incorporated.

Abu Dhabi Media Company owns and operates a range of television channels (Abu Dhabi Al Oula, Abu Dhabi Al Emarat, Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya, Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 2, Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 3 Abu Dhabi +1 and National Geographic Abu Dhabi) and a network of radio stations (Abu Dhabi FM, Emarat FM, Star FM, Holy Quran FM), as well as number of publications (Al Ittihad newspaper, The National Newspaper, Zahrat Al Khaleej magazine, Super magazine and Majid magazine) and a number of other media related businesses including Imagenation Abu Dhabi that will develop, finance and produce full length feature films and digital content for Arabic and international markets; LIVE which owns a fleet of outdoor HD broadcast vans and a state of the art printing press, United Printing Press.

Abu Dhabi Media Company employs 2,098 people across its operating units which include publishing, television, radio, digital media, distribution, and printing.

The company is headquartered in Abu Dhabi with offices in Cairo, Dubai and Washington, D.C.