Vevo to Shut Down Site, Giving in to YouTube Empire - Rolling Stone
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Vevo to Shut Down Site, Giving in to YouTube Empire

Service retreats from its video-hosting ambitions to focus on deal with YouTube

Halsey performs at the Okeechobee Music and Arts FestivalHalsey performs at the Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival

Video-hosting service Vevo will shut down its website and apps to focus on its distribution deal with YouTube.

Amy Harris/Invision/AP/REX Shutterstock

Competing with YouTube was always a tall order. Vevo, the video-hosting service founded in 2009 as a joint venture between the big three record companies to do just that, is admitting defeat.

The company announced in a blog post Thursday that it is shuttering its mobile apps and website, and that “going forward, Vevo will remain focused on engaging the biggest audiences and pursuing growth opportunities.” It will continue investing in original content and sponsorships, but phase out its own independently-operated platforms, it said. Read: Vevo is almost entirely succumbing to YouTube, the juggernaut that has long supplied most of its audience.

The major record labels set up Vevo – an abbreviation for “video evolution” – in 2009 as a designated streaming service for music videos that would ideally bring in greater revenue from more high-end advertisers. Via a distribution deal with YouTube, it received a cut of revenue from putting its music videos on the Google-owned site. 

But YouTube’s might has grown: The video-streaming service recently took Vevo’s branding off its music videos, while also securing permission under a new licensing deal to sell Vevo’s clips directly to advertisers, cutting out the smaller company’s sales force. Though Vevo has been trying to peel away from its dependence on YouTube by touting its own suite of apps and offerings for years, it seems those efforts haven’t been met with much success.

“Our catalog of premium music videos and original content will continue to reach a growing audience on YouTube and we are exploring ways to work with additional platforms to further expand access to Vevo’s content,” the company said in its blog post. Vevo users on its website and Android, iOS and Windows Mobile apps will receive a tool to migrate their playlists to YouTube.

YouTube, meanwhile, is spreading its arms wider. The company this week unveiled YouTube Music, a music-streaming service with a free tier and a premium subscription offering, as well as a rebranded premium video service (YouTube Premium, previously called YouTube Red). YouTube Premium includes YouTube Music in its subscription offering. 

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