Vevo to shut standalone mobile apps, making YouTube its main gig

From now on, you'll probably only know Vevo as a watermark on YouTube music videos. (If that's not the case already...)

Joan E. Solsman Former Senior Reporter
Joan E. Solsman was CNET's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology. She's reported from locations spanning from Disneyland to Serbian refugee camps, and she previously wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. She bikes to get almost everywhere and has been doored only once.
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Joan E. Solsman
2 min read

Music video streamer Vevo will shut down its mobile apps and consumer streaming website in the coming weeks, making YouTube even more dominant in how people watch its catalog of thousands of official music videos.

Vevo is a popular purveyor of online music videos, but most people probably know it best as the little watermark on the corner of more than 300,000 official music videos on YouTube. Though Vevo publishes some of the most-viewed videos on the planet, the company itself has struggled for years to carve out a life of its own, out of the shadow of YouTube, which is both the source of most of its viewing and a partial owner of the company. (Two of the world's biggest record labels are also part owners.)

Vevo said in a blog post Thursday it'll "phase out elements" of its owned and operated platforms, which are primarily mobile apps and apps for streaming media boxes like Roku and Apple TV . A company representative said that means it'll be shutting down its mobile apps and Vevo's consumer site over the coming weeks, but it'll support selected TV apps and explore other TV options too.

It'll continue its artist-development promotion programs dscvr and LIFT, which have been helpful in the past to elevate artists like Halsey to wider popularity. It'll also keep producing original content in "new formats" that Vevo plans "to roll out shortly." 

The company was already in an unsteady period. CEO Erik Huggers departed in December, and Vevo has yet to appoint a permanent replacement. Sometime late last year, the company yielded more control over advertising to YouTube, when it renegotiated a deal that gives YouTube the ability to directly sell the ads that run against Vevo's clips streamed on Google's massive video service. 

And being partly owned by Google and two of the major labels means those frenemies have sometimes used Vevo as a pawn as they negotiate their own deals with each other. The major labels and YouTube completed deals last year as well. 

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