It looks like Vevo might go the paid-subscription route.
Services that let users watch videos or stream music often offer two tiers: free (ad-supported) and premium (ad-free subscription). Apple Music and Spotify, for instance, demand that their users fork over a monthly fee in order to access premium features and skip the ads. Even YouTube has YouTube Red and YouTube Music. Taking a page from their playbooks, Vevo has announced it might soon charge users.
While speaking at Code/Media, Erik Huggers, Vevo's CEO, said: “Today our business is all about ad-supported. So we think that one of the important things - we hear this throughout the industry - is the move toward subscription. That’s something we’re interested in.”
In response to the popularity of music videos on YouTube, Universal Music Group and Sony Music created Vevo in 2009. It now gets roughly 17 billion video views a month, and half of those views come from mobile devices. It's therefore no surprise that Vevo recently rebuilt its iOS app, updated its Android app, and launched its first Apple TV app. But now it looking for new ways to make money and cater to users.
Similar to how Apple is reportedly developing its first original show with Dr Dre via Apple Music, Huggers suggested Vevo plans to add more original content to its service to make it standout and keep it fresh and compelling for users: “We think there is a big opening and a wide space to make something better,” Huggers explained. “That requires quite a bit of new muscle tissue that the organisation doesn’t have yet.”
Huggers didn't specify a launch timeframe or pricing details, but if all this comes to fruition, we're expecting Vevo to offer its subscription service alongside an ad-supported tier for a relatively low price point. YouTube Red is paid but serves up all videos - not just music videos. If Vevo wanted to truly remain competitive, it can't price-gouge users who are eager to skip the ads.