Recently-announced premium music video site Vevo will appoint head of Universal’s digital music business Rio Caraeff to head its operation. Currently at the helm of UMG’s eLabs, Caraeff is apparently to be named Vevo president when the service launches later this year.Universal Music Group and Google announced the VEVO joint venture at the beginning of April, and claimed that other majors may come on board. We recently spoke to Patrick Walker, head of partnerships at YouTube EMEA who told us that it’s NOT a Google or YouTube thing – it’s very much a UMG thing. Or, as Walker puts it: “VEVO will be run by Universal Music, but we are providing the technology and sales capabilities. Their aspirations are beyond their own content, but they will drive the business terms and relationships.”The appointment of long-time UMG digital head Caraeff cements that point. In fact his appointment to the post means it’s quite unlikely other labels will feel comfortable signing up now, if they ever were likely to in the first place.Still, VEVO is just one part of a general strategy by YouTube to create content silos – not limited to music but also for TV and other branded content. To that end there’s no reason why Sony, Warner or indeed any smaller label can’t create their own video channel. However anyone who remembers Pressplay, MusicNet or any of the other label-controlled music destination sites might wince at the prospect. UMG could still pull off a Hulu-style multi-partner success story with Vevo but as far as music channels go, history has so far suggested otherwise.

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