Up until now, official artists video channels were part of the record label-owned Vevo, much to the chagrin of Google-owned YouTube, but now the platform is fighting back by launching its own version of artist channels. Starting this week all unofficial channels will be consolidated into one YouTube artist destination.
Vevo stands for “Video EVOlution” and is a video hosting service founded in December of 2009 as a joint venture between the three major record labels as a way to control their artist’s YouTube presence. It’s only available in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
A new musical note icon will indicate a channel as “official,” and all previous subscribers will automatically be subscribed to the new channel.
YouTube is doing this for a couple of reasons. First of all to push official artist content forward to subscribers instead of user-generated content, and to take some of the control away from Vevo. As a result, it will be more difficult to find artist Vevo channels in the future.
You have to wonder what took YouTube so long to figure this out, but part of it was probably due to the fact that Sony and Universal were part owners of Vevo and had all of their video hosting on the service. With new licensing deals in hand and a new streaming service coming soon, Google most likely felt that any label blowback would be reduced.
There is an upside for all record labels though. All artist content can be connected to one central place, and distribution will be world-wide. Check out the video below to see how it works for subscribers to a channel.
Artists and bands can upgrade their channels to an official artist channel here.