The failure of VEVO gets worse

Despite the ongoing hype by the music industry suits about VEVO being so great, users stay away in droves. Some recent and very contrary views explain some of the issues.

As we noted in an earlier post, VEVO has really low visitor numbers – click here. The news has been getting worse. Even when people visit the site they run away again, fast. Here is the chart to prove it:

bounce rate of vevo compared with youtube and myspace

The higher the Bounce Rate, the less time visitors stay. Google Analytics specialist Avinash Kaushik has stated: “My own personal observation is that it is really hard to get a bounce rate under 20% while anything over 35% is cause for concern. Above 50% is worrying.”

The chart shows YouTube is fabulous, very close to the 20% optimum. Even MySpace, despite its troubles, has still managed to stay below 40%. But VEVO is still climbing, now well into the extreme danger zone.

So it is silliness in the extreme to see Mary McKnight, aka @REBlogGirl at a Major Record Label, make extravagant and incorrect claims about VEVO. She said: “VEVO has really taken off … and is driving in more people than Hulu! The premium content model is leveraging fan base against both artist brand and artist product to deliver exactly what the fan wants – the ON DEMAND ALL ACCESS PASS to their favorite artist. It’s a simple model and it is working on Vevo.”

Except it is clearly not! Why do major music labels continue with this selective blindness to what is really important to fans.

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Disastrous start for VEVO – only 35 million visits

The new premium music video and entertainment service created in partnership by Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media Company is already in trouble. VEVO managed just 35 million visits in December, a remarkably low number given the hype and marketing muscle of the corporates behind it.

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This is – or should be – a huge reality check for the music industry. The closing of Tower Records reflected the end of the old-school analog days, and the demise of imeem underlined the folly of trying to use old-style business practices online. Even with VEVO being run on the YouTube platform and picking up a large potential audience, the figures are dismal.

VEVO logoThe “Most Popular” music videos on VEVO also showed the problems of the service:  Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Drake, Lady Gaga, Jay Sean, Shakira, Britney Spears and Taylor Swift. Those artists will be popular anywhere BUT the problem is the inclusion on VEVO will just steal listeners/viewers away from other platforms.

Claiming “Music Evolution Revolution!” is just not backed up by the figures. The real Evolution and Revolution in music is happening elsewhere. For example, podcasts by trance DJs Above & Beyond already have 21 million listeners/viewers each week. In other words the immediate future of digital music is still iTunes and iPod, much to the concern of the majors.

Will VEVO bring us anything new? No. It is just a continuation of the old-school music cartels trying to channel our music appreciation – and it won’t work any more. Therefore we won’t spend new money via their platform. The real evolution of music marketing online will continue elsewhere – platforms like Pandora, Last.FM, MySpace and WordPress.