CEO: Vevo made $150 million in revenue last year

DANA POINT, Calif. (AP) — Vevo, the online music video service launched by Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment in late 2009, pulled in $150 million in revenue last year, chief executive Rio Caraeff revealed on Tuesday.

The service gets most of its viewers through YouTube, where Vevo is one of the most popular channels. Because of its high-quality music videos, Vevo commands advertising rates on par with broadcast television programming, he said. Vevo’s popularity has boomed, going from 350 million global views per month two years ago to 3.5 billion a month today.

Along with disclosing revenue, Caraeff said Vevo has paid out $100 million to the music industry for the licensing fees on the videos over the last two years. He also told the “D: Dive Into Media” conference that the company is profitable.

Caraeff said the future of the industry is not necessarily just tied to sales of songs or concert tickets.

“The future of music is about allowing billions of people on the planet to access music experiences, not trying to sell music to a small amount of people who want to buy it,” he said.

Vevo carries music videos from three of the largest recording companies in the world: Vivendi SA’s Universal, Sony, and EMI, which does not have an equity stake.

Warner Music Group Corp. is not part of the coalition. Outgoing chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. told the conference earlier that Warner’s strategy is to build up the artists’ brands, not that of another company.

Caraeff said there is value in aggregating multiple record labels’ artists in one place.

“I’m confident that we will have a relationship with Warner Music Group,” Caraeff said. “Right now we respectfully have gone separate directions.”

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