Rio Caraeff: The 2014 Billboard Power 100
NO. 27

Rio Caraeff

President/CEO, Vevo

Inked multiyear deal with YouTube, while also persuading Google to invest nearly $50 million for a 7% stake in Vevo

Within five years of launch, Vevo’s views have grown to 5.5 billion per month in 2013, up from 4 billion in 2012. Much of that has been driven by Vevo’s international push. It’s now available in 13 countries, up from four in 2012. About 80% of its monthly views come from outside the United States, up from 75% in 2012.

Those views have translated into hundreds of millions in advertising revenue. Industry estimates put that figure at around $300 million in 2012. The privately held company didn’t disclose its 2013 revenue.

This year, Rio Caraeff plans to bring the music video business full circle with a greater push toward linear, cable TV-style programming—an initiative that Vevo began last year by launching several original video series that now run on three separate Vevo TV channels in the United States and Canada. As a result, Vevo is now in the business of building both a stream of high-quality original content and the services to distribute it.

Keeping up with the changing ways audiences access their entertainment is no trivial matter, and it will be a source of challenge for Caraeff and Vevo in 2014. “Power ultimately lies with the end user, the viewer or listener who always has the final word when it comes to how they will vote with their money, time and attention,” Caraeff says.

“This has been true for a long time, but the shift in awareness and importance of this fact fortifies the message that the customer is king.”