Universal Music pulls videos off MTV website

August 6, 2010

Universal Music Group has pulled its music videos off of MTV’s websites  in a dispute over syndication rights for Universal’s co-owned music site Vevo.

With Universal Music’s previous online music video contract with MTV Networks ending on Aug 1, the music company had planned to use Vevo as the distribution platform for its music videos. But the problem for MTV is that would mean adverts around the videos would be sold by Vevo, not MTV,  something the music television business found difficult to agree to.

Vevo was launched in December by co-owners Universal Music and Sony Music Entertainment as a dedicated online venue for premium quality music videos —  an MTV for the digital age if you like. It features music from EMI as well but Warner Music Group is yet to ink a deal.

Here’s what MTV thinks of Universal’s decision:

For almost 30 years, MTV has enjoyed long and colorful partnerships with all the music labels, including UMG and their talented roster of artists on MTV, VH1 and CMT. As the industry evolves, we continue to seek out new and innovative ways to connect artists with their fans that are beneficial to everyone. However, during our recent discussions with VEVO, we were unable to reach a fair and equitable agreement for rights to stream UMG artists’ video content. As a result, UMG has elected to pull their music videos from our web sites. We are disappointed by this move and sincerely hope that UMG will work with us toward a fair resolution and allow their artists to once again connect with the millions of music fans who visit MTV.com, VH1.com and CMT.com every day.

Here’s what Universal Music says:

“MTVN has been unwilling to negotiate a fair syndication deal with Vevo to carry our artists’ videos and consequently our videos will not be shown on their online properties. We believe that using Vevo as our online music video syndication platform is the best way to maximize revenue for our artists, our songwriters and ourselves, while bringing our videos to the widest possible audience. In less than 8 months since its launch, Vevo has already become the web’s #1 rated video network with over 49 million unique visitors monthly, dramatically eclipsing those on MTV’s online properties, while attracting scores of major advertisers and tens of millions in advertising dollars. As a result, our artists are enjoying tremendous exposure on Vevo on YouTube and Vevo.com, and will enjoy even more as Vevo continues to complete syndication deals supplementing the existing arrangements with leading destinations as AOL and CBS Interactive.”

And here are some clips of MTV’s hugely popular Jersey Shore still up on Vevo:

One comment

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If you seriously think about it, who actually uses MTV’s websites for watching music videos. People actually want the MTVN channels on television to play the music, not its websites. So users found other places to watch videos that being the popular delivery method started by YouTube and has stayed with YouTube. I think UMG and Vevo are on the right track staying with YouTube over MTV.com

Posted by tylerwoodward | Report as abusive