After Vevo’s launch in the UK in 2011, Nic Jones and Eric Mackay – who spearhead the US company’s international expansion – got together and decided Germany should be next.
Germany is one of the world’s most important music markets, after all. It’s also home to rights agency GEMA, famed for a long-running dispute with Vevo’s most important distribution partner YouTube, which we can thank for a block on many of YouTube’s music videos in Germany.
Two years later, Vevo has struck a deal with GEMA. YouTube still hasn’t, which makes this Vevo’s first ever country launch without it. “Very exciting and challenging,” as Jones put it during a visit to the new office in Berlin last week. Vevo, under the leadership of country manager Tina Funk, must now grow its brand in Germany from scratch.
The basics are the same across the 13 markets where Vevo operates its web platform, mobile apps and connected TV apps. The platform offers over 75,000 videos – music videos, live concert recording and original programming. The biggest hit so far is Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball, which collected 100 million views in less than a week.
Advertisers care about those kinds of eyeball numbers. Vevo brought in about $150m in revenue in 2011 and was expected to hit $280m in 2012. Advertising proceeds are usually split between rights holders, YouTube and Vevo.
In Germany, without YouTube, we expect that split will be a bit different. Here, we talk to Jones about the relationship between Vevo and YouTube, who came out on top in negotiations with GEMA – and where the company will be heading next.
Vevo’s backers include major labels Sony Music and Universal – and Google.
Video shot and produced by Patrick Steller
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