The nation's two top providers of music videos online today set their sights on the mobile marketplace, with both Vevo and YouTube expanding their reach into Android mobile phones.
YouTube, which to date has not been able to stream music videos on mobiles, introduced an upgraded app that allows users to stream any music video available on the Vevo platform. That means any label licensing videos to Vevo, which includes Universal Music Group, Sony Music and EMI, along with a number of indies, will be available. That also means still no Warner Music Group videos.
The reason for the mobile ban was due to YouTube's inability to generate ad revenue on its mobile platforms. With no cut of advertising, labels wouldn't allow their artists' music videos shown via mobile. So as part of today's announcement, YouTube introduced a new pre-roll advertising capability that it will apply to not only music videos, but also any other YouTube video already available via mobile.
Other features include an easily-identifiable "music note" icon next to search results listing a music video, links to artists' bios, and links to both other music videos by that artist and that of similar artists. The new app for now is restricted to Android platforms, with plans to support the iPhone and other smartphones in the future.
Vevo, meanwhile, unveiled an Android app for the first time, to augment its mobile efforts that began with the iPhone. This means Vevo's music videos are available on both the iPhone and Android phones.
While Vevo is on more platforms, it will be interesting to see whether Vevo or YouTube dominate music video streams on mobile. YouTube is the clear leader online, generating some 90% of all Vevo's video views. On mobile, YouTube now boasts 200 million video streams a day, that's double the figure reported last July and triple that of last January. With music videos as part of the mix, those figures will likely spike again six months from now.