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Vevo Arrives: Test Driving the Labels' New Video Streaming Site

December 9, 2009 12:00 AM ET

Vevo, the new video streaming Website being touted as the next decade's MTV by the record companies that founded it, finally launched last night with a host of new music videos from 50 Cent, Mariah Carey and Lupe Fiasco. Google's YouTube and three of the four major labels — Universal, Sony and EMI — collaborated on Vevo, which gives labels a premium on the per-views advertising fees, as opposed to the $3-$8 per 1,000 views the labels get from their preexisting YouTube deals.

Enjoy Mariah Carey's new bikini calendar/"H.A.T.E.U." video, courtesy of a Vevo embed, above. Usually when a new site launches, there's still some kinks, but even on its first day Vevo's video quality is clearly superior than YouTube's, running more fluidly and HD than YouTube's often pixellated and jerky clips. The player itself is more streamlined too, making it easier to fast forward and rewind through the clip and access its menu without having to shrink down the playing image. There's also an option to display the lyrics of the song you're listening to on the video itself, almost like closed-captioning. In addition, Vevo boasts quick links to purchase songs on Amazon and iTunes.

Nearly 15,000 videos have already been posted on Vevo, with likely more coming once the Website works out a deal with the last of the majors, Warner Music. The one drawback so far, which we encountered when we embedded their video for Bob Dylan's "Little Drummer Boy" this morning, is that the loading time can sometimes be a bit lengthy, but that will likely improve soon. Searches for music videos on YouTube now present a large Vevo banner to users, suggesting that they instead visit that site, so it's only a matter of time before people begin typing "www.ve..." as opposed to "www.yo..." when they want to watch music videos. In case you're wondering how older videos look on Vevo, check out Nirvana's "In Bloom" below:

Related Stories:
Universal Labels And Google's YouTube Reach Deal For New Video Service
Warner Music, YouTube Reportedly Strike Deal to Restore Videos
Video Sites Announce New Music Features: Hulu Adds Artist Pages, Vevo Sets Launch

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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