Vevo Flop Shows, Once Again, How Badly The Record Labels Underestimate Technology

from the not-how-it-works dept

Just last week we wrote about how the big record labels have a hilariously long history of failing to grasp the importance of providing a good underlying technology service for music online and how they always overvalue the content, and assume that the technology and services are a commodity that is effectively worthless. And, yet again, that approach has failed them. The latest is the collapse and capitulation of Vevo, the service put together by a few of the major record labels to try to “take on” YouTube (even while using some of YouTube’s underlying technology). Earlier this week, Vevo announced that it was shutting down its own site and app, which basically no one used anyway. Instead, it’ll just focus on using YouTube, which was where everyone watched Vevo videos in the first place.

Still, as with that article last week, this is yet another demonstration of how the labels overvalue the content and assume that the only thing that matters is the content, and that the technology is interchangeable. It’s not. History has shown time and time again that without good technology and services for the public, content delivery platforms will fail. And, that’s not to say the content isn’t important — it is. But it’s the combination of both together than make a compelling service. Netflix figured this out. Spotify figured this out. Apple figured this out. YouTube figured this out. But the major labels still can’t seem to let go of the idea that it’s the copyright holders who have the leverage and should be able to (1) control everything and (2) take nearly all of the profits.

Either way, we can add Vevo to the list, with MusicNet and Pressplay, of examples where the record labels thought that they could mostly ignore building a good and compelling service, because just having the content would make it work.

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Companies: vevo, youtube

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Comments on “Vevo Flop Shows, Once Again, How Badly The Record Labels Underestimate Technology”

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25 Comments
Ninja (profile) says:

Don’t forget that search engine for legal alternatives. Oh wait.

Make licensing easier and universal (as in, everybody pays the same price for the content if they are willing to provide it in their platforms). This will bring tons of money to these morons and a ton of value to consumers as well. Clearly the content industry can’t do it right by themselves.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Some companies spend most of their budget on advertising, and fail because their product is crap.

Some companies spend most of their budget on making an awesome product, and fail because nobody knows their product exists.

Then we have the record labels, who are in the process of failing because they shorted both product development AND advertising so they could spend the majority of their budget on suing their fans.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It is almost a flaming garbage pile. They do seem to be doing better. Decided to try them out again recently and I can at least watch the shows I want without any adds. That is why I will at least continue to pay for it and Hulu. Also pay for Prime for the shipping and the streaming is just an added bonus.

Bergman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If you willingly take drugs that lower your inhibitions and sense of judgment, then you are ultimately responsible for what you say and do while under the effects of them.

Whether those drugs be sleeping pills, alcohol, truth serum or grade-A placebo, making sure you don’t make an ass of yourself in public is on you.

You’d think someone as old and experienced in Hollywood as Roseanne is would understand this.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

More likely because of a history of terrible behaviour, that Twitter rant was just the last straw. When you have a woman who’s done a photoshoot baking “Jew” cookies dressed as Hitler making racist comments about public figures, platforms that depend on advertising tend to get a little nervous of boycotts, regardless of what you think of the comments yourself.

It was far from the most offensive thing she’s ever done, it’s just something that could threaten the networks’ revenue at a time of dropping ratings (according to Wikipedia, the last episode had nearly half the viewers of the premiere).

Anonymous Coward says:

double standard

I always thought that the whole point of Vevo was to provide Youtube users with a sanctioned official music video to replace the never-ending Whac-a-Mole series of pirate videos that they were constantly taking down for every popular song. And let’s not forget that before VEVO, virtually all record-label content on Youtube was “pirate”.

That Vevo even had a website to watch videos was probably unknown to most everyone, since it [presumably] offered nothing that Youtube didn’t already have.

My biggest complaint about Vevo is that it’s been completely exempt from Youtube’s recently-enacted often-draconian content policing that has been hurting so many of Youtube’s independent content creators. Why is it that Vevo gets away with showing and saying the sort of things that would get any ordinary Youtube uploader banned from Youtube?

DannyB (profile) says:

Record Labels and Technology

The Record Labels not only under value Technology, they are outright against it and only get dragged kicking, screaming and suing into each modern age.

Weren’t these people sure that player pianos would somehow destroy music?

The radio would destroy music? But . . . payola!

Tape recorders would destroy music.

Home taping of records would destroy music.

(Videotape would destroy the motion picture industry, but that is a different cesspool.)

Walkman type cassette players would destroy music, and encouraged people to make illegal copies of records.

CD ripping would destroy music.

Making Mix CDs would destroy music.

The RIAA sued Diamond Rio for making the first personal mp3 player — because it would destroy music.

The RIAA went insane over Napster, Gnutella, Bittorrent and every technology that could distribute files.

In 2006, Universal Music told Apple that iPods were repositories for stolen music.

And then streaming music services.

And gradually, the record labels discover that there is money to be made by reluctantly letting people buy your licenses.

Undervaluing Technology is just the tip of the lawsuit with the record labels.

But if the people are allowed to LISTEN to music, they will steal it!!!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Record Labels and Technology

Same goes for the movie industry – TV was going to kill cinemas, then when they learned how to compete with that then the VCR was going to kill it, and so on. But, once they stopped hiding, stopped suing and learned to compete, they not only managed to stay alive but created lucrative new businesses to go with it.

I always chuckle at the irony of how much they claim that the home video market will die because of piracy, given how hard they fought to stop it existing in the first place! They just need to learn how to compete – and, again, they are being dragged kicking and screaming into that by other companies who know what their customers want and are willing to supply it.

Anonymous Coward says:

As someone who used to border on a copyright maximalist back in the Napster days, I’ve come to the realization over the past couple of decades that it isn’t even about them overvaluing the content. They don’t really care about the content any more than the delivery systems. The only thing they care about is the control.THEY get to decide who succeeds and fails. THEY get to decide who gets paid, when they get paid, how they get paid. Anything that allows anyone other than them, whether it be the actual content creators or consumers, even the remotest level of control over where, when, why or how content is used is completely unacceptable to them.

Charlie says:

The Big Record companies see the internet for what its being used for- a giant copy machine. You can’t blame big record companies for underestimating technology. They saw the technology as something to destroy their business. Alot of them held on to the very end; when all the record stores closed up about a dozen years ago. Metallica complained about people stealing their music on Napster- and history has shown them to be right. Hilary Rosen, former head of the RIAA started suing thousands of people who were illegally downloading music. She was right too. Just because a new technology comes along, doesn’t mean that it is everyone’s best interests to embrace it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

So, what, you’re saying we should all still be listening to music on vinyl and not able to watch movies in the comfort of our own home?

Every technology that comes out will be abused by a subset of people. That is not a valid reason to resist it. By your logic cars are evil because they killed off the horse and buggy business.

The internet is not just a big copy machine. Yes some people abuse it to pirate content but that is an extremely small fraction of internet users and uses of the internet. Most people don’t buy their music from Amazon, Apple iTunes, or Google Play. Others pay for streaming music services like Pandora, Spotify, or Youtube Red. They aren’t pirating anything, they are paying for the music they listen to and in return get to listen to it on the device of their choice.

The record and movie industries are making WAY more money now than they ever could have before BECAUSE of the internet. If they would stop trying to fight it and fully embrace it, their profits would jump even higher.

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