"There is so much more than we can do with it," Vevo CEO Erik Huggers told Billboard earlier this year. "Original programming, the brand, product features." While the company has remained relatively quiet since Huggers' appointment, Vevo -- co-owned by Universal Music Group, Sony Music, Abu Dhabi Media and Google -- today announced its acquisition of video aggregator Showyou.
"Showyou allows us to accelerate our pace of innovation with the ability to rapidly add new and differentiated features as we iterate our products in 2016 and beyond," writes Huggers in a statement on the news.
The purchase gives Vevo a feature set that would have taken significant time and investment to develop independently, including a monetization scheme that Vevo likely intends to implement in the future which gives individual channels a way to create a sort of "mini-Netflix" service for their particular content. It's easy to picture, for example, a Capitol Music channel featuring that company's music videos and original content being offered ad-free for a small fee each month. Currently Vevo is entirely ad- and funding-supported. It's also worth considering the talent at Showyou; a year ago it hired a former interim CEO at Hulu to take the chief executive spot.
"We need new technologies and new models for growth as we go into 2016 and beyond," a Vevo spokesperson tells Billboard. The online video market is cramped and highly competitive -- even YouTube's nascent premium offering Red, which will debut original programming early next year, was met with a relatively lukewarm response. (Its YouTube Music app, meanwhile, attracted some praise for ease-of-use.)