Vevo launched last night with a star-studded NYC event featuring appearances by the likes of Adam Lambert, Lady Gaga, Rihanna Bono, Mariah Carey, and John Mayer. “Ve-what?” you may ask. Why, Vevo, of course: the new music-video streaming website that will maybe, possibly, save the music industry, perhaps.
The site was created by YouTube in partnership with three of the four big major-label conglomerates (Sony, Universal, and EMI). To hear them tell it, Vevo is meant as “an MTV for the digital age.” The reality is more like Hulu for music videos. Visit Vevo.com and you’ll find a nice-looking, high-quality player that often (but not always) makes you watch a short advertisement before the video of your choice. The labels are hoping this model will help them sell more ads and make a ton of money.
It’s less clear what’s in this for users. So far the selection of videos on Vevo is limited. Most new major-label videos like Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” (after the jump) are easy enough to find, but digging back into the archives is less rewarding: you can watch Jay-Z’s “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” or “Roc Boys,” but no “99 Problems” or “Izzo (H.O.V.A.).” Nor does the site include anyone signed to the fourth music-biz giant, Warner Music Group. I’m mildly obsessed with Gucci Mane’s new video for “Lemonade,” but since he’s a Warner Bros. artist I’m out of luck on Vevo. And forget about any indie artists. Searching for Grizzly Bear took me to…Gummy Bear. No thanks.
All this might change as Vevo continues to grow, but right now I’m seeing little that regular old YouTube can’t provide. So let’s hear it: Have you visited Vevo yet? What do you think of the new kid on the streaming-music-videos block?
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