midem logo

Power Players

No. 26
Rio Caraeff

Twitter: @Riozilla
The Global Music Video King...

Online video is the new MTV, which makes Rio Caraeff the head of the world's most important video channel. Caraeff is president/CEO of Vevo, the 2-year-old joint venture between Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, with additional funding from Abu Dhabi Media Group. At his disposal are the videos of the JV partners as well as of EMI Music and a host of indies, from Big Machine Records to Entertainment One Distribution. Caraeff's overarching goal is to promote those artists-and more than 550 advertisers-to consumers on the Web (at both YouTube and Vevo.com) and through apps for mobile devices and connected TVs.

Vevo has what music fans want: Its videos account for nine of the top 10 videos in YouTube history (including the entire top five). Vevo has what advertisers want, too: Its collection of 45,000 videos from more than 7,500 artists attracts viewers and keeps them watching. Of the 181.7 million U.S. viewers who watched online video in December, 53.7 million of them spent an average of 68 minutes watching videos at Vevo, according to comScore, making it by far the largest partner channel on YouTube.

Vevo's 782.3 million videos streamed to 53.5 million unique viewers through YouTube were far ahead of second-place Warner Music Group (31.7 million viewers and 206.5 million videos). And the company is a global presence: In October 2011 alone it streamed more than 3.6 billion videos to 415 million-plus people globally. Mobile is the fastest-growing part of the platform. Vevo claims mobile streams increased 1,500% from January to December 2011.

But Caraeff wants more than short music videos for small screens. Vevo is targeting the growing market for connected TVs and has "a bunch of pilots" in development--original programming rooted in music--it plans to announce in the first quarter, Caraeff told Billboard in December. And if it's the new MTV, there's no limit to the programming Vevo could create in the years to come.

Order the special edition Billboard Power 100 issue, printed on glossy stock with lavish original photography (available now).

What do you think of the 2012 Billboard Power 100? Sound off in the comments area of the Letter From the Editor page, where the criteria is explained.

« PREVIOUS: Ronald "Slim" & Bryan "Baby" Williams | NEXT: U2 & Paul McGuinness »