Music Tech

VEVO.TV Launches: The Return Of Music Television

TRLGuest post by Micheal Cerda (@imcerdafied)  for, a music and tech think tank. Cerda provides an in-depth commentary on today's launch of VEVO.TV, a brand-new music video product.

In the 1980s and early 1990s, music videos on television captured the imagination of a generation. New levels of music fanaticism, discovery and
imagination were born. We could finally see what bands really looked like, what their interpretations of the music were, what story it really told, and
even the latest fashion trends! Then it ended. Music on TV went away and the Internet showed up, ushering in a new paradigm and a new generation of
everything. Long gone were the days of just turning on the TV and watching music videos.

In the 2000s, broadband Internet and smartphones captured the imagination of the incoming generation, who were exposed to an enormous collection of
user-generated content and music videos online. Music videos were inherently lower quality and certainly smaller in screen size, but viewers still viewed
more music videos than ever before due to the always on-demand access. As much of an access revolution as this was though, it lacked any sense of curation
or automation, err… lean back mode of viewing. Viewers had to search for what they wanted to view, and when they did it was ridden of low quality
user-generated versions.

In recent years, higher quality, official music videos emerged online. The official music videos became easier to find and more pleasurable to view. And,
more recently, there’s been a gradual migration from the search-and-snack experience to a more personalized, social and lean back experience that
encourages music discovery. There’s also been market migration from desktop viewing to mobile viewing — one that opens doors to new contexts of viewing.
For example, videos can be viewed on the go, on a train commute, or on a TV with Apple Airplay. We can now view on the go; anywhere we are, at anytime,
with anyone — digitally or virtually.

The digital living room began to emerge in new ways, with apps on gaming consoles, set top boxes, and smart TVs — where contexts and use cases could expand
even further. Leaning back, viewers today ever so appreciate the beauty of a music video playing in their living room — some are seeing it for the first
time and some are seeing it just like they remember. In any case, viewers are watching more music videos at a time in the digital living room than anywhere

Now the onus is on content providers to tune into these evolving contexts and use cases. The shift from short form to long form consumption is at hand, but
so is a continuous experience; one that never really ends. For example, Netflix continuously plays episodes from a given season, and even keeps track of
where you last left off, regardless of device. Pandora has persistent login across devices so that your radio stations are consistent anywhere you go.
There are and will be more developments that will play into this trend.

One very new development along these lines is today’s launch of VEVO TV — a new curated, long form-oriented experience across
desktop, mobiles and digital living room devices. Like it sounds, and like TV itself, VEVO TV is something that can be turned on anytime day or night,
exclusively within any VEVO app. There is a variety of programming throughout the day at every hour on the hour, so there’s something for everybody to tune

This is not just a product feature; it’s an entire living, breathing soul of an experience. It’s something that can’t be found anywhere else. It addresses
the paradox of choice, it addresses the emerging viewing patterns in the living room, it provides a fresh experience to millennials and a reminiscent
experience to those of us that were here in the early ‘80s and ‘90s. As an industry and an audience, we’ve kind of come full circle from our parent’s
living room to our computer and now into our living room, done our way. Instead of a single screen it’s every screen. Instead of just the
living room it’s every room, anyplace, and with everyone. For the first time in a long time we’re all watching the same thing, together — physically and
virtually. This is effectively, the return of music television.

What’s next? As programmed, longer form experiences emerge across the various digital parts of our lives, we’re going to spend more time viewing. And we’re
going to find new reasons and ways to view, both passively and actively. Much the way viewers binge on seasons of TV shows on Netflix, people are going to
binge on music videos. Much the way people have the TV on to keep them company, they’re going to do that with music videos. Much the way 2nd
second screen interactive experiences are emerging on TV, they’ll now emerge on music videos. Much the way people get together to watch the GRAMMYs, the
Oscars or the Super Bowl, they’re going to do with music television. And anytime you put something in the hands of an audience, they’re going to do things
none of us have even thought of yet — and that’s the beginning of the next inflection.

We have a lot to learn yet, but those of us trying to make it happen have certainly developed some insights along the way. Viewers are telling us they
can’t get enough of it, that there’s a certain kind of magic when they don’t have to think about what to watch all the time. There’s a certain kind of
magic when they can watch a higher quality music video on a larger player or screen than anywhere else. There’s a certain kind of magic when something’s
been handmade by a human.

Algorithmic entertainment won’t go away, but programmed entertainment will take on a larger role, again. There will be more ongoing consumption and more
immersive behavior within programmed entertainment than with on-demand entertainment. The on-demand offerings will always co-exist, but programmed
offerings will captivate audiences and will emerge as the leading feeding ground for viewers, content providers, and advertisers alike.

VEVO TV is the basis for the return of music television. It’s not so much a channel as it is a network with one channel to start. It’s not hard to imagine
multiple channels in multiple countries with region-specific programming, live events, news, personalities, and interactive experiences, accessible from
any device, anytime. It is both daunting and exciting knowing that’s what’s next, but today, we’re going to celebrate the return of music television. Long
live music television.

Michael Cerda envisions and executes on VEVO products and its supporting technology, having a long career in breaking new ground for startups and bringing larger companies through major inflections. is founded and edited by Kyle Bylin of Live Nation Labs. If you would like to contribute a post to be featured on the site, please reach out.

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  1. I wanted to like this and have been looking forward to this kind of thing, but I don’t think it’s very good. First impressions:
    1) The picture quality is bad. MTV was good because the quality was always perfect.
    2) Loading videos takes a long time sometimes and they halt randomly during playback and start buffering. The service will fail if this happens to people.
    3) I loaded on my iPhone and my Mac, and the videos weren’t in even almost in sync.
    4) You can’t vote or rate the currently-playing video, so they have no idea if people are liking what they’re playing. It’s 2013, not 1997. I can even do this on this random music TV channel on my local cable.
    5) The videos label show automatically at the start of the video, but not the end.
    6) Maybe I just caught it at a boring time, but there needs to be a human introducing some of the videos so we at least feel like we’re watching live TV. This just feels like YouTube videos on shuffle.

  2. 1. picture quality – it’s actually beautiful so your comment concerns me. What were you viewing on
    2. and on what speed Internet?
    3. sync is pretty close, but we’re working out kinks as expected. This is IP not broadcast TV. We’re doing something that hasn’t really been done before so it will take a minute to get it real tight.
    4. voting is an obvious future here, but we didn’t want to burden the viewer with work or decisions to make day 1. We’ll learn from viewer feedback like this though.
    5. the video label – I’ll be curious to see how many people really want to see that label pop up at the end. You can always see what the video is on hover.
    6. Human jockeys, sure, we’re thinking about that.

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