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UMG to drive VEVO biz deals, not Google


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patrick-walker-googleWhen Google and Universal Music Group announced their VEVO premium music videos site last week, we initially assumed it was a Google thing, and that UMG had signed up to it. Not so.”VEVO will be run by Universal Music, but we are providing the technology and sales capabilities,” Google’s director of video partnerships Patrick Walker tells Music Ally. “Their aspirations are beyond their own content, but they will drive the business terms and relationships.”This is a pretty important aspect of VEVO that may affect its chances of signing up other major and independent labels, who may be concerned about UMG having access to data on the consumers watching their videos. That said, US online TV portal Hulu has proved that this kind of approach can work, although it started as a joint venture between two studios – NBC Universal and News Corporation – rather than one.However, if Google is powering VEVO for UMG, couldn’t it do the same for other major labels if they wanted to go it alone? “We’re always looking to do deals that make good business sense,” says Walker. “If a group comes to us with a smart and sustainable business model, we’ll look at it. We don’t do deals that are exclusive, and we always try to be a neutral provider of technology. So we are definitely open to proposals.”Walker was talking as part of an interview in this week’s Music Ally Report, which was published today. For a free two-week trial of our premium service, which includes access to that and our archives of other reports, click here.

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