Vevo seek half a billion dollars for upcoming subscription service

Vevo are reportedly looking for a giant $500 million in funding as they prepare to launch their own subscription service.

A report by the Financial Times reveals that Vevo have brought on Goldman Sachs to help them find $500 million in funding. Vevo are presumably looking to find money to help launch their upcoming, long awaited subscription service.

The music video service announced plans to add a subscription tier to their video platform in February but have since revealed little more like; when exactly is it released? how much will it cost? what are the benefits over it’s free offerings? Although remaining mostly tight lipped a job opening at Vevo suggested we could see long-form, original programmes.

According to the reports on Vevo’s new search for $500 million they also hope to expand internationally using the money. Vevo are currently in a better position than ever as they recently signed Warner Music on music video distribution. Warner were the only 1 of the 3 major labels that didn’t come together to start Vevo 7 years ago, now all 3 major labels distribute music videos through Vevo.

Vevo follow other free services like YouTube, the world’s biggest video hosting site, which introduced their first subscription service YouTube Red last year. Open music streaming platform SoundCloud also launched their first subscription offering earlier this year with SoundCloud Go.

With the world’s 3 largest music labels behind them you’d think Vevo wouldn’t have trouble funding themselves but perhaps their ambitions go further than their parent companies’ reach. Whilst Vevo look to receive half a billion dollars in funding we’ll continue waiting to see what we get with their subscription service.

Watch Apple Music’s exclusive Cash Money Records documentary trailer

Last week Apple Music announced they’d signed an exclusive deal with Cash Money records, home to Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake and more.

The documentary looks to follow the rise of the record label and it’s owner Bryan “Birdman” Williams, who announced the agreement with Apple. It also looks to take an in-depth exploration into Cash Money’s biggest stars like Lil Wayne who met and rapped for Birdman since the age of 9.

‘The Cash Money Story: Before Everythang” is set to release exclusively on Apple Music sometime this Fall.

Spotify kick off new docu-series’ with Metallica: The Early Years

Spotify have kicked off a series of new documentaries with a 4-part video series on Metallica’s formation and influence early on.

In the last week Spotify have kicked off their “first wave” of original video content with a short animated video on EDM’s influence on the world last week and now the debut of a new series that looks at landmark moments in the history of music, starting with ‘Metallica: The Early Years’.

The series, appropriately titled ‘Landmark’, was announced when Spotify said they would be releasing 12 original video series as their first phase of video production. Earlier this year Spotify launched a video section to their mobile apps for a bizarrely varied collection of video content, but with original music-related videos the section will start to seem a lot more robust.

The first episode of Metallica: The Early Years is called Metal Militia and is available on YouTube, however the other 3 episodes seem to be only available on Spotify’s mobile apps.

Here’s the description for each chapter:

Chapter One: Metal Militia

How did an army of tape-traders help a group of pimply misfits “go viral in 1982? Metal Militia recounts the story, from Lars Ulrich’s chance encounter with Motorhead in a London rehearsal space to the arrival of Cliff Burton.

Chapter Two: Metal Up Your Ass

With the arrival of Kirk Hammett on guitar, Metallica now had all the weapons they needed to record their debut album, Metal Up Your Ass. Although they were forced to change the name, they still managed to change the game with a unique combination of punk aggression and metal riffs that would come to be known as thrash.

Chapter Three: Sophistication & Brutality

With Cliff Burton fully on-board as a contributing songwriter, Metallica’s vision grew exponentially with the follow up to Kill’ Em All. From literary references in the lyrics to acoustic guitars to – gasp – a ballad, Ride The Lightning showed the band’s growing ambition, creative potential, and willingness to piss off critics and fans in the pursuit of something epic.

Chapter Four: Armageddon’s Here

In the span of a few short years Metallica went from dive bars to stadiums. This is the story of what happened next.


Each episode is between 5-10 minutes long and is available to watch now on Spotify’s mobile app. If you can’t wait to open the app though, here’s the first episode:

 

After a 7 year standoff Warner Music signs a deal with Vevo

Warner Music have made a deal with Vevo after steering clear of the music video platform set up by the 2 other major labels Sony and Universal 7 years ago.

Vevo was set up 7 years ago by 2 of the 3 major labels, Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, as Warner Music Group decided to opt-out and traverse the new online world of visual music alone. The music video platform has since laid claim to the majority of major artists, and many smaller ones, and holds ownership of many music channels on YouTube.

Rumours arose that Warner were making an agreement with Vevo as the labels re-united to oppose YouTube, claiming it’s payout for music on the video site were unfairly low. Those rumours have now been confirmed and Warner Music has signed a licensing agreement with Vevo to distribute certain music videos on Vevo’s own video site and mobile app. The deal curiously omits YouTube, meaning WMG still holds full ownership of their music videos on YouTube.

Vevo’s CEO Erik Huggers said of the deal: “Today marks an important milestone for Vevo as we forge a new relationship with Warner Music Group based on a shared vision of putting artists first and creating a platform that does justice to the music. We’re excited to partner with Warner Music and bring their artists’ content to life through our new mobile and web experiences and across a range of our programming.”

CEO of Warner Music Group, Steve Cooper added: “Erik and his team continue to evolve their service and bring to life a new vision for Vevo. We’re pleased to have built a flexible and mutually beneficial relationship that will bring additional creative and commercial possibilities to our artists and songwriters. This partnership is the latest in a recent series of deals that are helping us explore ways to unlock the true value of music videos in attracting and engaging vast audiences.”

A partnership with the world’s third major label is a massive step for Vevo, especially as they approach the release of a subscription service that they hope will solidify them as their own platform and draw people to their content outside of YouTube. There’s currently no set date for the launch of Vevo’s subscription service but it’s expected it could come before the end of the year.

https://youtu.be/r1ogD6W38bc

Warner Music partner with Vadio music video platform

Following rumours that Warner Music are closing a deal with Vevo they’ve agreed a partnership with another music video service – Vadio.

Vadio announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed a content agreement with Warner Music Group, giving them access to WMG’s music videos. The music video platform has amassed over 80 partners for video streaming but Warner marks their first major label.

Warner Music Group’s executive counsel of business affairs, strategic and digital initiatives Ron Wilcox said: “Vadio provides a smart service that gives partners quick and easy access to our artists’ content, within a ready-to-go video platform. Vadio’s extensive distribution network of video channels expands the potential for Warner Music artists to connect with new fans, while creating new revenue streams on our artists’ behalf.”

Vadio have partnered with other popular video services like Vizio, Radio.com, MetroLyrics, Virgin Radio Italy and others. Vadio offers partners methods to curate, monetise and track their video content online.

Vadio’s CEO, Bryce Clemmer said: “We pride ourselves on empowering new business models that create new revenue streams for content creators and media partners. For that reason, we are very excited about our partnership with Warner Music Group. We believe video will get integrated into every digital media destination. Therefore we are making it possible for artists, brands, and media partners to deliver high quality videos by making Warner’s video library viewable across large scale consumer experiences.”

This deal comes curiously soon after rumours were abound that Warner are making a deal with Vevo, the giant video streaming platform formed by Universal and Sony. Warner were the only major label to opt out of starting Vevo, choosing to explore the online video marketplace independently.

If Warner do choose to partner with Vevo the platform will house all of the world’s biggest artists music videos. The deal would reportedly require Warner’s videos to remain independent on YouTube, not part of Vevo.

This doesn’t really infringe on Vevo’s plans who, despite having made the majority of their popularity on YouTube, wish to start promoting their own platform and draw people to their music videos there, rather than on YouTube. Vevo are planning to launch a subscription service later this year to bolster their platform even more.

Apple Music videos now stream free on mobile data with T-Mobile’s Binge On

T-Mobile’s Binge On plan allows you to stream a bunch of video services for free on mobile data, Apple Music’s been included for a while but now so are their videos.

T-Mobile are regularly adding new services to their Binge On and Music Freedom plans that allow mobile users to stream certain music and video streaming services for free on mobile data.. With all the major music streamers like Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal and more included and video streaming services like YouTube and Netflix already included it would seem like there are no services left to add, but T-Mobile are still adding more.

Among the new video services being added to the video plan, ‘Binge On’, are Apple Music’s videos. Apple Music is already included through Music Freedom but Apple also have a bunch of video content available through their music streaming service. Videos available on Apple Music include a load of music videos but also original content like a collaborative documentary series with Vice as well as an upcoming new series of Carpool Karaoke which Apple just recently purchased.

Binge On has been a hit since it launched just 8 months ago, having added over 100 video streaming services to the plan. T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere said: “Over 100 streaming services on board in just eight months and 765 million hours of video streamed data-free so far. Binge On’s popularity with consumers and video providers is amazing!”

As well as videos included on Apple Music, T-Mobile have also added ABC, Disney, DISH Anywhere, FOX NOW, NAT GEO TV, CEEK VR, D-PAN.TV (a sign language channel), DramaFever, Shalom World, and even a few more to Binge On yesterday.

Vevo give a lick of paint to their apps as paid subscription offering moves closer to launch

As Vevo move closer to launching their first subscription offering they’ve taken notes out of music streamers to give their app some new touches

It’s expected that later this year Vevo will launch a subscription tier of their giant music video service, offering ad-free viewing with the potential for exclusive content like actual programmes. With a refresh to their iOS and Android apps Vevo look to be creating a more appealing platform before launching their paid option.

The update allows users to create profiles with which they can share their music tastes with friends and those who view their profile. On the app’s Feed you can now preview featured videos in portrait as well as landscape in a full-screen video showing you the song, artist, and it’s likes as well as which of your friends liked that video. It’s been designed well so that it still looks gorgeous in portrait view despite not being able to fit the full video in the screen.

Vevo update subscription service application

Vevo have been smart with the addition of human curated offerings, taking a leaf out of popular music streaming services where machine and human curation has become massively important as a unique selling point. Vevo have got a bunch of high profile music-persons to present curated offerings, including Stereogum’s Scott Lapatine and Rap Radar’s Brian ‘B. Dot’ Miller.

Vevo are also bringing original content in a partnership with The Fader magazine to create unique video content with artists. Going in on a full charm-offensive of new offerings Vevo have also hired three hosts to present short-form videos and create unique playlists: Drewsky, Lizzy Plapinger, and Julz Goddard.

To give their music video service a personalised feel Vevo are using machine learning to create playlists based on what users are listening to, offering similar artists and tracks. They plan to continue improving on this element over time and it is offered alongside Dscvr, Vevo’s offering of content aimed directly at users’ specific tastes.

All their new additions are a sign of Vevo’s move to becoming an established service of it’s own. So far it has built it’s notoriety by releasing music videos through YouTube where the majority of major artists you see come under a Vevo channel. Now Vevo want to strike out on their own and make their own service the true home for the best, expansive library of music videos.

There is still no timeframe for when Vevo plan to launch their paid offering but it’s expected to release later this year.

Chosen’s video app now has over 20 million songs to create clips from

Chosen launched last year as a video app designed to showcase the musical talents of strangers around the world and get them recognised. As is often the case with these sorts of the apps however, the users had different plans for the app.

The app became a place to share short video clips with friends and others, thanks in part to an investment by Ellen DeGeneres that lead to a video challenge segment used by Ellen in her show. This lead to massive popularity for the app but took it completely away from it’s roots of displaying individual’s musical abilities.

Now, with the popularity of similar app Musical.ly that’s found notoriety for it’s music video dubbing,  Chosen are branching back into the music side. Chosen have added samples of over 20 million songs to their app so that you can create music videos or dub yourself singing the song.Chosen application music update video Ellen DeGeneres

Chosen CEO David Hyman said that younger generations experience music in a different way, finding appeal in interaction and creation. He notes that older generations are more passive in their music experiences, like listening to streaming services. Hyman added that he hopes Chosen could one day be a platform for music discovery.

In another example of Chosen’s recognition of popular culture, they’re planning to add a feature that allows users to impose images over their videos using facial recognition technology – like Snapchat’s popular filters feature.

The update was added today to both the iOS and Android versions. You can download Chosen from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Musical.ly’s new live.ly app jumps to No.1 in app store

Almost a week after fully launching the new live streaming app Live.ly it  rockets to the top of the app store charts.

The live streaming app comes from Musical.ly the popular open platform that helps users create their own music videos. With their first major expansion they’ve launched Live.ly an app that allows users to broadcast themselves in real time to the Musical.ly platform.

It was rolled out to select users initially but was expanded to their full userbase last Thursday and has since achieved 500,000 downloads and shot to number 1 on the Apple App Store. When we first reported on Live.ly’s launch we were sceptical as to how it may perform due to live streaming’s prevalence with major competitors like YouTube, Twitter, Twitch, and others, but it’s clearly been a hit.

Musical.ly CEO, Alex Zhu said: “We want to thank the musical.ly community for embracing live.ly as an exciting new platform and canvas for creativity and self-expression. The fact that this comes almost one year after musical.ly hit on the same chart makes the news even more exciting.”

livestream application iOS

Live.ly has a long way to go if it’s to reach the success of it’s predecessor Musical.ly, which has been downloaded an incredible 100+ million times since launcing just last year. TechCrunch reported last month that the company were looking to raise $100 million in funding, for a valuation of roughly $500 million. Whether this would be for further expansion into new markets or to bolster their already successful mobile platforms is unknown and will hopefully be seen if this round of funding goes through.

You can download Musical.ly on iOS, Android, and Amazon. You can also download Live.ly only on iOS currently.

Entries now open for the 9th UK Music Video Awards

Bringing together the best of music and visual art, the UK Music Video Awards have begun accepting video entries from the UK and worldwide.

The 2016 UK Music Video Awards are underway with their metaphorical doors open for artists and filmmakers around the world to submit their visual counterparts to music, or music videos.

The awards aren’t inclusive and allow anyone from creative indies to major label, globally renowned artists to put themselves up for consideration. The awards ceremony aims to recognise the work and art behind the best music videos of the past 12 months in a way that no other awards ceremonies do.

The UK Music Video Awards editorial director, David Knight said: “With music videos playing such a huge role in how music reaches people now, the UKMVAs provides an important platform for recognising the incredible range of talent involved in making them.

“Music video has always been a playground for up and coming filmmakers, and a creative space for visual ideas. It can incorporate all kinds of filmmaking, and it can also have its very own film language. In music videos, as in music, anything goes. It just has to work. The UKMVAs is here to celebrate the work that does exactly that.”

The awards feature over 30 categories including: Direction, production, camera work, animation, post-production, Best Music Documentary, Best Live Music Coverage and many others. The UKMVA will stop accepting submissions on the 2nd of August.9th music video ceremony art

The ninth annual UK Music Video Awards will take place on the 20th of October at the Roundhouse in Camden, London.