Wednesday, September 11, 2013, 10:31 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
There was an eye-opening data point in VEVO's viewership report for the first half of 2013, published this week: 50% of its U.S. video views now come from mobile, tablet and connected TV devices. In fact, in an interview on Bloomberg in late August (see below), VEVO CEO Rio Caraeff said non-desktop U.S. views are now over 500 million per month, more than half of its approximately 1 billion U.S. monthly views. He also characterized non-desktop as the fastest growing part of VEVO's business.
The 50% non-desktop number is the highest I've seen disclosed by any online video content provider. Over the past year, when I've informally asked content providers about mobile/connected TV views, I've typically heard 25%-30%. By comparison, YouTube (note, VEVO is the largest partner) says on its site that mobile is 25% of its global watch time.
The U.S. is something of an outlier for VEVO's mobile/tablet/connected TV usage however, with international still much more heavily tilted toward the desktop. VEVO said in its report that it delivered 4 billion streams globally in June and per Caraeff's Bloomberg interview about 1 billion of them were in the U.S. Since VEVO also said 1.2 billion streams were off the desktop in June (with 500 million in the U.S.), that means that 700 million of the 3 billion international views were non-desktop, a viewing rate of about 23%, or less than half of the U.S. rate.
While VEVO's short music videos are tailor-made for mobile/tablet consumption, the company has wisely covered its bases in connected TVs as well with VEVO TV, its curated, linear TV experience. Caraeff told CNET earlier this week that VEVO TV was actually the biggest contributor to its viewership growth, and that 80% of VEVO's product development now focuses on connected TVs. VEVO is currently available on Xbox, Roku and most recently Apple TV. The WSJ has reported a Samsung deal is in the offing, and I have to believe a Chromecast integration is just around the corner too, which would make a ton of sense.
Taken together it looks like VEVO is fully leveraging its music video content. Though MTV pioneered the format 30+ years ago, since it moved on to original TV programming, a huge market opportunity was created, which VEVO is capitalizing on. Digital distribution has breathed lots of new life into music videos, which are now more popular than ever. In fact, just yesterday VEVO announced that Miley Cyrus' new video "Wrecking Ball" broke the all-time record for number of views in the first 24 hours of release, with 19.3 million.
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