Vevo, MTV hook up again for music videos

Their breakup lasted more than a year. Now Vevo has agreed once again to license music videos to MTV, sources tell CNET.

Singer Adam Lambert performs during Vevo's 2009 launch party. Greg Sandoval/CNET

Vevo, the 2-year-old online music video service, will once again make its clips available on MTV.com and other MTV-owned sites, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

Often called the digital age's MTV, Vevo is home to videos from three of the top four record labels: Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and EMI Music. More than a year ago , Vevo pulled its content off MTV's sites following a licensing dispute, but the sides have now renewed their deal and should make an announcement soon, the sources said.

Representatives from MTV and Vevo declined to comment.

Last week, CNET reported that the sides were nearing an agreement .

Music videos are some of the most popular fare on the Web and are apparently a significant revenue generator for the labels. Robert Wiesenthal, Sony America's CFO, said yesterday during a presentation at the UBS Media conference in New York that Vevo is "worth a fortune." Sony and Universal each own a stake in Vevo.

Exact terms of the new deal with MTV were not available, but one of the sources said that Vevo got what it wanted most in terms of controlling the video player that will appear on MTV's digital properties. When a visitor to MTV's sites searches for an artist, the video player they see will be owned by Vevo.

On the other hand, MTV retains control of the actual Web page the video is displayed on, the sources said. One source said that the agreement would work out to each company's benefit.

MTV has certainly expanded beyond music, but music is still a big part of the company's history and brand. In addition to producing reality shows, such as "The Jersey Shore" and "Teen Mom," MTV also airs the Video Music Awards each year.

At this year's Video Music Awards ceremony, MTV showcased a host of music artists but wasn't able to continue to offer clips on its sites from those artists over an extended period.

 

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