Vevo launches 24-hour music channel in US, Canada


31 years after MTV launched with all music-videos, the network airs anything but music. Now video website Vevo has launched a 24-hour digital music channel in the US and Canada.

Vevo, the site created by record giants Universal Music and Sony, hopes to recreate MTV’s 1980s heyday with the channel, showing a selection of music videos, live concerts and original programming.

The channel will be available on devices plugged into internet-connected televisions, such as the Xbox and Roku set-top box, as well as on Apple iPhones, iPads, Android and Windows mobile handsets.

Vevo reportedly plans to launch dedicated digital music channels for the UK, Europe and Latin American markets later this year following the 3/12 launch in the US and Canada.

Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff, told the Financial Times that the move towards the small screen showed the traditional music channel was still relevant to the digital generation.

“It’s really about a return to how it used to be,” he said. “What we’ve learned is that there’s a time and a place for on-demand and there’s also a time and a place for a programmed, linear experience.”

Asked whether Vevo aimed to become the new MTV, Caraeff told the paper: “I can only hope and aspire to that, but by the nature of it it’ll be different. Part of what we’re trying to achieve is that element of nostalgia but 70% of our audience is under 34.”

Vevo was launched by Universal and Sony in 2009 as an answer to the booming popularity of music videos on Google-owned YouTube. YouTube has since taken a stake thought to be close to 10% in Vevo and Caraeff has described their relationship as “symbiotic,” notes a UK Guardian story.

RBR-TVBR observation: A good idea, if it can reach the production and programming values that MTV used to have. It will definitely be an interesting gauge of iPTV viewing at home, especially since it is aimed at an audience that knows how to work iPTV viewing as if it were a cable connection. One problem—when it comes to TV set viewing of music, many younger demos are already “watching” the MVPDs’ bundled format music channels, such as FiOS’s Music Choice (MC).