By Sahil Patel
At its third-ever Newfront presentation, Vevo announced a major expansion in original and live programming, as well as a marketing partnership with Twitter to drive additional views.
The biggest announcement was what Vevo plans to do with its flagship “Certified” video program, which celebrates artists whose music videos have surpassed 100 million views.
Since launch, “Vevo Certified” has awarded 275 videos from 100 artists including Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Taylor Swift. As part of the program, the artists sit down for interviews from the sets of their “Certified” videos, and are awarded Vevo’s award from some of their biggest fans.
Expanding on the existing program, Vevo plans to host “Certified Live,” a private concert and fan convention, later this fall in Los Angeles. “Certified Live” will invite two artists and 3,000 of their biggest fans to a single location, where the fans will “get ‘Stylized’” (referring to a new Vevo music/fashion series), be allowed to walk the red carpet, and go behind the scenes to document the entire experience. Vevo will publish a total of 80 pieces of content from this event, including the full concert on demand, as well as 10 songs from each performer and various fan-created footage.
It doesn’t end there with “Vevo Certified,” though. The company has expanded its partnership with Twitter Amplify, a program that helps brands and media companies distribute video clips within tweets and drive additional viewership.
Called “Certified CountUps,” the program will embed popular music videos within tweets with the ultimate goal of getting the videos to the 100-million-view mark necessary to join the “Vevo Certified” club. CountUp videos will be embedded into targeted tweets from not only Vevo and brand marketers, but also the artists and fans, according to Vevo. The campaign will kick off with the music video for “Say Something,” a song by A Great Big World.
The group known as millennials are watching less and less live primetime TV and watching more and more on mobile, Vevo’s VP of research Andrea Zapata said at its Newfront. She pointed to a Nielsen study which said the decline in viewership is at 40% when compared to previous years.
Luckily for you advertisers, Vevo is reaching this audience in droves. “It’s with millennials we’ve developed our viral edge,” said Zapata. Sixty percent of Vevo’s US viewership is now on mobile, and 74% of Vevo’s millennial audience watch videos on more than one device, she said. (What would be interesting to see is how this audience breaks down across Vevo and its apps, and the other platforms its content is available on — including, primarily, YouTube.)
To reach this crowd, many of whom are likely to be cord-cutters, Vevo touted a couple of brand partnerships it’s entered into.
The company has a deal with Mirriad, a native in-video advertising platform, to allow brands to integrate themselves directly into music videos. At the Newfront, Vevo unveiled the partnership’s first campaign, an integration for Levis within Aloe Blacc’s hit music video for “The Man.” (The Levis brand suddenly popped up on walls and billboards in the background.)
As an example of a prime partnership that other advertisers might want to do, Vevo also announced a deal with AT&T for its “highest value content” (according to CRO Jonathan Carson): music video premieres. AT&T will sponsor a series of music video premieres from major artists. The brand will also be integrated into one premiere.
As part of the deal, AT&T will also sponsor Vevo’s first-ever “Music Video Premiere Party,” which will include an artist appearance.
Artists and music videos participating in this campaign will be announced shortly, Vevo said.
Vevo’s original programming generated more than 500 million views in 2013. Building on that success, Vevo unveiled seven original series, including the previously announced “Guess the Video,” coming out later in the year. We’ve listed them below via Vevo’s announcement:
Among Those Returning
“Vevo Go Shows” — Intimate performances by artists at unusual locations — often those that are near and dear to the artist. In 2014 alone, Vevo has already locked brand deals with Sony, Dr. Pepper, and Coors Light, which will get their own “Vevo Go Shows.”
“Vevo Lyric Lines” — Host Tommy Wooldridge tries to pick up girls using music lyrics. The debut season earned more than 20 million views, with Coca-Cola on board as a launch sponsor. Previously announced, the new season will bring in co-host Nageen Dar.
“Stylized” (co-produced by Vevo and Milk Studios, Made, and Legs Media) — With a major new programming partnership between two of the hottest media companies in the world, the popular fashion series will be re-imagined and launched this year. “Stylized” will go beneath the surface and expose the true personalities behind artists’ fashion identities, including their perspective on art, culture, gender, and much more. Style is an expression of every artist’s personality, and we aim to delve deep into who each of our subjects really are.
“Get the Look” (co-produced by Vevo and Rachel Zoe’s The Zoe Report) — Music and fashion have always had a symbiotic relationship, forever influencing creativity and sparking global trends followed by millions. Loyal fans may not be able to walk the red carpet or get up on stage with their idols, but they sure can look like they will. “Get the Look” will show our viewers how they can achieve a superstar look at home without the couture price tag.
“Taste of Music” (co-produced by Vevo and Endemol) — Each episode of “Taste of Music” invites a rock-star chef to watch a popular music video and translate the feelings it evokes into food, creating a unique and surprising dish.
“Guess the Video” (co-produced by Vevo and Archive Entertainment) — Part quiz show, part comedy, our hosts the Hudson Brothers roam the streets of Atlanta with a tablet showing passersby a few seconds of a music video, and test who knows their Shakira from their Shaggy. If they get it, they win $100. If they don’t, they get a pie in the face.
“Judge This!” (co-produced by Vevo and Kids at Play) — Using the popular format made famous by “Best Week Ever,” the series “Judge This!” will feature the hottest YouTube stars (all with hundreds of thousands of subscribers) to playfully answer some of the biggest questions bubbling up in pop culture. Should Justin Bieber go to college? Should One Direction add a girl? “Judge This!” will put these hilarious questions to rest once and for all.
“AKA” (produced by Vevo) — Many artists have unique monikers, but where did they come from? “AKA” uses imaginative original animation to tell the untold stories behind artist’s stage names, from Future to Neon Trees.
“Day Off With” (produced by Vevo) — The saying “celebrities are just like us” comes to life as Vevo explores what artists love to do when they are not making music. From driving race cars to flying, cooking, scuba-diving, or sky-diving, viewers get a chance to see what their favorite artists love to do in their free time.
Other Live Events
“Hot This Year” — Since 2012, “Hot This Week,” Vevo’s original series highlighting the biggest videos of the previous seven days, has been one of the platform’s most popular shows, generating 1 million views each week. Amplifying the concept, Vevo will celebrate the biggest videos of 2014 with the biggest party ever, “Hot This Year.” More details of the event will be announced later this year.