Online music video service Vevo "launched" Tuesday night with a party in New York, but the service clearly could not handle the traffic when it first went live. If you could actually get on the site, there were page loading problems and lots of error messages. Vevo was still sluggish Wednesday morning, but with improved performance. This is not the same Vevo that will exist in six months, but it is the product that is leaving first impressions. Here are the three main problems.

Too Slow
Vevo went live just before midnight on Tuesday night, but it was so overwhelmed (or unprepared) that the load time made it unusable. By the next morning, load times had greatly improved but errors were still frequent. The sluggishness prevents the curious from looking at the many playlists, top ten lists and channels. And these technical problems affect embedded videos as well, meaning a blog that posts a Vevo video may have nothing more than a solid black rectangle where a video should be playing. Users' many complaints can be followed at Twitter at #Vevo.

Few Videos
At launch, Vevo's catalog is an extremely short head, not the long tail of YouTube's catalog. Vevo launched with fewer than 15,000 videos, making it a tiny corner store to YouTube's warehouse. While current pop hits were well represented, there were nine videos in the blues genre, 86 in jazz and 45 in reggae. And big names were absent. EMI signed up, but there are no Radiohead, Robbie Williams or Katy Perry videos. A search for John Coltrane turned up John Mayer. And a search for Miles Davis brought up a single video - hosted at Google Videos. At YouTube, a search for Miles Davis got 50,300 results. Lady Gaga has 345,000 search results at YouTube and only 71 at Vevo.

Confusing Integration with YouTube
A search for Kings of Leon at YouTube produces 67,700 results. Some are official videos that cannot be viewed (a message explains the video is not available for copyright reasons) and some official videos can be viewed. How can one tell the difference? Check the user name. Videos uploaded by kingsofleonSME (the band's Sony Music account at YouTube) will not play while videos uploaded by kingsofleonVEVO will play. And not only will they play, they appear in a Vevo-branded screen hosted by YouTube. (To skip the pre-roll ads, just don't choose a video from a Vevo account.) But YouTube has more of everything, other than official videos. It has many fan-uploaded videos with studio-recorded songs. And if you want to see the Kings of Leon perform "Use Somebody" on Channel 4 or "Later with Jools Holland," or see Paramore perform an acoustic version of the song for BBC Radio, or watch a cover of "Use Sombody" by a teenage girl with an acoustic guitar, go to YouTube.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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