One of YouTube‘s main attractions is the plethora of music videos available for instantaneous viewing — it’s a modern-day MTV without the reality shows and attempts to regain coolness. The problem is, those videos are locked under copyright and aren’t making money for the labels or artists when played for free, so they’re often yanked from the site and become available only in grainy, bootlegged iterations.
Universal Music Group and YouTube want to change all that. The two media giants are working on a deal that would launch a YouTube sister site that would be a music video cornucopia, according to sources cited by CNET. The intended sister site, tentatively called Vevo, would be “closely linked” with YouTube and thus attract billions of viewers, and, hopefully, big advertising dollars.
Universal is the nation’s largest recording company, and with a little help from its friends, Vevo hopes to attract all of the major labels to create a one-stop shop for music videos. Also planned are “editorial content, merchandising, Webisodes, or artist-generated videos,” sources close to the negotiations told CNET. This kind of content would truly be culling from the YouTube’s philosophy of giving audiences reams of content from a variety of sources.
This news comes only a few months after MTV revamped its online music video source, titled MTV Music. Instead of adapting to the Web 2.0 age, MTV simply slapped its videos online, propped up a few advertisements, and called it a day. Now faced with such an ambitious project, MTV has to pull its players together and develop a strategy for beating YouTube at the game it invented or else further fade into cultural obscurity.