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Vevo hopes for 30% growth after 2016 revenues of $500m

Vevo has been talking about the growth in its advertising business, with the music-videos service having taken in $500m in 2016.

Chief sales officer Kevin McGurn told Business Insider that Vevo is expecting 30% growth in 2017, including nearly $200m in year-long ad commitments spawned by its shift towards ‘upfront’ sales of advertising, matching the structure of TV.

“We wanted to talk to TV buyers and sell ourselves like TV. We put our media inventory in the lead of our sales,” said McGurn, with the article noting that Vevo currently attracts around 25 million US visitors a day. “Our scale has always been there, but it wasn’t put in context.”

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Look what you made Taylor Swift do to Psy’s YouTube record

Another day, and another online record broken by Taylor Swift’s new single ‘Look What You Made Me Do’.

The venue for its latest milestone is YouTube again: the official video for Swift’s new track racked up 43.2m views in its first 24 hours, averaging more than 30k views per minute during that time period.

That was enough to break the previous first-day YouTube record: 36m views set by Psy’s ‘Gentleman’ in April 2013.

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Taylor Swift criticised for Ticketmaster gamification program

The numbers are already looking good for the musical return of Taylor Swift.

New track ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ broke Spotify’s first-day record with more than 8m streams; set a new YouTube mark with more than 19m first-day views of its lyric video; and sold nearly 200k downloads in the US alone on Friday.

The song’s official video, which debuted during MTV’s VMAs event, also notched up a Despacito-trumping 28m views in its first 24 hours on YouTube.

One angle on all this is the comparison between Spotify and YouTube: just under 23m streams on the former at the time of writing, but 93.2m combined views for the lyric and official videos on the latter. Caveat: Spotify’s numbers update once a day while YouTube’s are closer to real-time.

But all this risks being overshadowed by criticism of another aspect of Swift’s return to the musical landscape: her use of Ticketmaster’s ‘Verified Fan’ program.

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Prince posthumously returns to YouTube via a Vevo channel

Prince was never one of YouTube’s biggest fans, it’s fair to say, both in terms of putting his own videos on the service or letting live clips shot by fans stay on the service.

The latest twist in the star’s posthumous digital career is a flurry of activity on his official YouTube channel. It now has six videos, including official promos for ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ as well as live performances of ‘Take Me With U’, ‘I Would Die 4 U’ and ‘Baby I’m A Star.

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Katy Perry breaks her own YouTube record with ‘Bon Appetit’

Katy Perry is a YouTube record-breaker for the second time. In fact, the 16.8m first-day views for her latest track ‘Bon Appetit’ broke her own record – set in 2013 with her single ‘Roar’.

According to Variety, Perry’s latest track has also helped her set new records for the most channel views in a single day (more than 25m) and the highest number of playlist adds in a single day (84k).

Posted inSandbox

Sandbox Issue 179: Is New Music Friday marketing overkill?

Lead: New Music Friday was designed as a way to synchronise global release days in an on-demand world, but the upshot is that now Friday groans under the weight of new release and marketing strategies. As a result some labels are looking to step back from the steeplechase, whereby they still release music on a Friday but their marketing efforts become […]

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‘Mostly awful’ virtual-reality music videos failing to impress Vevo

A fair few people in the music industry think that virtual reality (VR) could be the next big leap forward for music videos and live performances alike. However, there are plenty of sceptics.

Some of them were on the ‘Capturing Live Performance’ panel at AIM’s Music Connected conference in London yesterday, expressing their caution about the quality and reach of current VR content.

“We see about 80 premieres a week on our site and maybe one of them is VR or 360,” said James Moodie, senior manager of talent and music at Vevo. “Without being too harsh, they are mostly awful. I think there are very few good ones and I think that is down to the lack of tech right now – as well as the budgets. When you look at headsets and what they cost, until they are an accessible mainstream format, I don’t think we will be running into them headfirst.”

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Vevo capitalises on YouTube troubles with ‘brand-safe’ promise

That awkward moment when you call out one of your own shareholders for being less ‘brand-safe’ than you for any advertisers wanting to avoid having themselves associated with extremist content…

Vevo’s latest move to distance itself from YouTube targets the latter’s current Achilles heel at a time when a number of brands have already suspended their advertising on Google’s video service.

“With hundreds of millions of hours of content created and consumed on YouTube daily, some brands have found themselves in the unenviable position of being associated with highly objectionable content,” wrote Vevo’s chief sales officer Kevin McGurn in a blog post last week.

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Vevo to launch ‘Watch Party’ co-viewing feature

Vevo’s latest new feature aims to get people watching music videos with their friends, wherever they are and whatever devices they’re on.

It’s called ‘Watch Party’ and is making its debut in Vevo’s desktop service. The company is describing it as “a multiple screen co-viewing experience where users can invite friends, chat, and vote on videos they’d like to see”, although there’s also an option for ‘Host Mode’ where only one of the group gets to choose what videos are viewed.

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Like Apple, Vevo is funding and producing music videos

Apple made the music industry sit up when it funded and produced music videos for Drake and The Weeknd, among other artists. Now Vevo is following suit, albeit with an emerging act rather than an established star.

Vevo has put up the cash and creative for British artist Jorja Smith’s video for her track ‘Beautiful Little Fools’ which will be premiered on the service this week. The video is part of a longer-term partnership with Smith, who is one of its Vevo Dscvr ‘Ones to Watch’ for 2017.

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Vevo focusing on international expansion before subscriptions

Vevo has not abandoned plans to develop a subscription tier for its service, but the company is putting that ambition on the back burner for now.

“It’s completely still in the cards,” CEO Erik Huggers told Variety, while also delivering the message that international expansion has become Vevo’s priority for now. “This is about timing and sequencing… We will switch it on when it’s right.”

Vevo claims that 80% of its audience is outside the US, but so far it has only launched localised websites and apps in 14 countries. According to the piece, Huggers is keen to double or even triple this by the end of 2017

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Vevo reveals it has 97m viewers in the US alone

New research from comScore has pegged the size of Vevo’s monthly audience in the US at around 97 million people. That’s according to its monthly Video Metrix ratings, which now include YouTube mobile viewing.

MBW reported that the stats – from October 2016 – show 43% of all YouTube’s American viewers watched at least one Vevo video that month.

That’s an important figure for the music industry in the context of the ‘value gap’ debate, as it helps gauge the size of the music-viewing audience on YouTube. Vevo, though, is highlighting the positive aspects of its mobile music-video viewership.