Is Vevo Considering an IPO?
-- Vevo is seeking new investors to help fund its international expansion, according to reports at Sky News at the Financial Times.
A report by Sky News claims the company has hired investment bank Allen & Co to look at the possibility of an initial public stock offering. However, sources have told the Financial Times an IPO is not under discussion with Allen & Co.
Vevo is a joint venture of Universal Music Group and Sony Music with an investment by the Abu Dhabi Media Company. The video network syndicates its content to a number of partners, including YouTube and MTV.com, in addition to streaming its content at Vevo.com and its mobile apps.
The company has always had expansion on its mind. It launched in the U.S. and Canada in December 2009, expanded to the U.K. last year and launched in Australia via a partnership with MCM Media. Former Starcom MediaVest executive Nic Jones was hired as Vevo's SVP of International in September.
( Sky News , Financial Times )
Report Says Online Video In State of Disruption
-- Growth in mobile-first social apps could be hurting YouTube, suggests a blog post by mobile analytics company Flurry. The company won't come right out and say that mobile apps are cannibalizing YouTube, instead calling the divergent trends "a signal of disruption."
Google Sites went from 378 monthly minutes per U.S. viewer in September 2011 to 472 in December 2011 and then down to 425 in March. In those months, minutes per viewer on mobile apps tracked by Flurry increased from 110 to 152 to 231.
Here's Flurry's recap: "As online video consumption dropped by 10%, mobile app video consumption increased by another 52% [in the first three months of 2012]. By the end of March, consumers were spending 54% of amount of time in mobile video apps compared to Google Sites [primarily YouTube] online, 231 minutes in apps versus 425 minutes online."
Flurry chalks up the change in viewing to growth in mobile-only video apps such as Viddy and SocialCam. "Trained by the sharing behavior of Facebook, and enabled by a confluence of underlying technology like built-in HD video cameras, hardy on-device processors, increased network bandwidth, cloud storage and user-friendly applications like Viddy and SocialCam, social video apps are taking off."
It's unclear what this means for music videos. Vevo's online traffic has declined in recent months, too, going from 871.6 million streams in November to 674.2 million streams in April, according to comScore. When asked about the decline in viewership, a Vevo spokesperson noted that comScore does not track app-based viewing and claims Vevo's mobile video views "are rising."
But the shift to mobile could spell trouble. Music videos undoubtedly benefit from YouTube's position as the world's most popular video site. Fewer people viewing videos at YouTube mean less music discovery on the platform. And the fact that fewer people viewing videos online - 49.5 million in April versus 53.4 million in November, according to comScore - raises hopes that mobile apps are making up the difference.
( Flurry blog )
Social Startup Shaker Launching Music Initiative With Live Nation, BandPage
-- A social-minded digital startup called Shaker  will launch a music initiative on June 8 in collaboration with Live Nation and BandPage. Details are expected to be announced soon about how the company, which has raised $15 million from a litany of venture capital funds as well as Troy Carter and Scooter Braun, will work with the concert promotion, ticketing and management giant (Live Nation) and the developer of the most Facebook music app (BandPage).
Shaker purports to facilitate "fun" online social experiences. "Shaker adds another dimension to the Social Network - a layer of places," the company explains at its website. "By giving your Facebook profile arms and legs, Shaker lets you walk around the different venues and environments, choosing from all kinds of events or simply have a good time. You can chat up your friends and their friends, get introduced to like-minded people, listen to music you love or even host your own meet-up and get your people together."
( TechCrunch )