Why Did Universal Pull Maroon 5's Video for 'This Summer's Gonna Hurt'?

Adam Levine of Maroon 5 performs onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 21, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Photo by Denise Truscello/Getty Images for Clear Channel

The video for "This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like a Motherf****r," uploaded to Maroon 5's official YouTube (not Vevo) account, was pulled today after generating over 1.4 million views, replaced by a message that Universal Music Group had removed it. (Not to worry, the video will be back on YouTube shortly.)

Why would a record label pull its own video?

It has to do with Vevo, the music video platform co-owned by UMG and Sony Music. The company serves as the first-stop destination for both majors' music videos, drawing 41.5 million viewers monthly (as of last November). Vevo appearances on YouTube function by overlaying the traditional player with Vevo's own. Why? So stakeholders can make more money. Vevo pulls much better ad rates than YouTube because of its popularity (artists' channels make strong appearances throughout YouTube's top most-subscribed channels http://vidstatsx.com/youtube-top-100-most-subscribed-channels) and cultural focus.

In the case of this particular Maroon 5 video, because the Vevo player wasn't overlaid correctly, it was caught in UMG's automatic content filter within YouTube, a source with knowledge of the situation tells Billboard.

Vevo itself is set to expand its ambitions, if new CEO Eric Huggers is to be believed. "My god, this is one of the leading video assets on the planet and there is so much more than we can do with it," Huggers told Billboard in early May after news of his appointment was announced.