Vevo CEO Eric Huggers is continuing the corporate reorg with the latest casualty of these changes being Jonathan Carson, Vevo’s Chief Revenue Officer of over two years. He’ll be replaced by UK-based Nic Jones, who had formerly been running the international business in Europe, Australia and South America. Under the new role, Jones will assume responsibility for Vevo’s global sales efforts as well as international operations.
According to sources close to the company, Huggers is focused on reinvigorating Vevo’s corporate culture and establishing Vevo as a consumer-facing brand first by rectifying Vevo’s mobile and desktop tech functionality and then ramping up the content strategy. Recent hires and departures, which we’ve previously reported, also reflect this agenda.
“Vevo is at a very significant point in its history and 2015 has been an important year for us as we pivot our business to become more product-focused and globally aligned,” said Jones.
For years, Vevo has thrived inside the YouTube garden, seeing over 95% of its traffic and a majority of its $300+ million in annual revenue originating from YouTube, according to sources close to the company. Vevo has significantly lacked in any effective branding to the consumer, rendering the business as a rock in a hard place in terms of building and “owning” its own platform, which includes a lean back streaming experience — Vevo TV. As noted by Jones, Vevo is at an interesting pivot point for the business.
And the company has been readying itself to push play on a new strategy with Vevo as a consumer-forward brand. To achieve that, Vevo has already relaunched a new iOS app. It acquired ShowYou, a video startup that has nailed monetization, social integration, discovery and curation, all of which Vevo would need to build from scratch to succeed in marking a consumer strategy.
In a blog post, ShowYou CEO Mark Hall said on the acquistion that, “It’s obvious that how we find and consume entertainment is drastically changing. We now take it for granted that we get to watch what we want, when we want, on the device we want. But the shockwaves from that change are still rippling out and rumbling through the media ecosystem and will for years to come. In many ways, we are still at the beginning of this shift. It’s a bit like a game of musical chairs, with only 4 of 10 chairs filled. Vevo has the rare opportunity to contend for one of remaining slots, to become one of the services millions of us use everyday.”
For Vevo, music videos are the trojan horse to get people to their own platform, instead of YouTube at which point they can figure out how to monetize it as well as the original programming it will undoubtedly create as part of a bigger OTT strategy. The company is actively recruiting a new Head of Video Content to replace the former position-holder, Doug McVehil, who left Vevo in October after 5 years.
The only underlying question is whether Universal Music Group and Sony, as well as the rest of Vevo’s board, will empower Huggers with the budget approvals necessary to execute such a grand vision. Who’s excited for 2016? *raises hand*