Did the internet kill the video star?
Warner Music Group and MTV don’t think so. In fact they think there’s a brand new and profitable life online — especially if you frame it right.
In a deal announced Wednesday, the music goliath and the station that pioneered and branded videos will offer “one-stop shopping for advertising inventory.” The Viacom company will sell ads to run with WMG artists' videos across the web, MTV and Warner sites and properties, as well as on mobile providers.
“This alliance enables us to offer our artists the marketing and sales firepower of the world’s most widely recognized and highly trafficked music destinations to help them drive revenue from their video content on the artist’s own site, as well as through the many other places that fans access their music,” said Lyor Cohen, CEO of WMG Recorded Music.
The third largest label in the music industry, WMG’s roster includes Flo Rida, Green Day, Nickelback, T-Pain and James Taylor.
“Our sales teams are ready to go out and connect clients with this valuable content,” Van Toffler, President of MTV Music Group told TheWrap. “All in all, it's a great proposition for fans, artists and business.”
After years of what has been a failed strategy of licensing lawsuits and online Wac-a-mole pulling content off YouTube and others, music labels lately have decided to take a more aggressive digital approach.
The deal between WMG and MTV, who all but abandoned actually playing videos in recent years for reality TV, follows on the December 2009 launch of VEVO by Universal Music and SONY. The site, which is hosted by YouTube, is intended to draw fans and up market ad dollars into a single location housing videos by Universal and SONY artists past and present.
Though the new aggressive strategy, which sees the labels and YouTube owner Google sharing the ad revenue, has proven a growing traffic success it has also backfired a few times. Most noticeably in late March, as TheWrap reported, when SONY suddenly yanked Beyonce videos off the superstar’s own U.S. site and YouTube.
MTV and WMG hope they can turn the tide.
“This partnership is really about offering music fans and artists multiple avenues to connect with each other first and foremost,” says MTV’s Toffler. “Green Day can hook up with fans online, through a live stream concert, through music interviews, original programming and more.”