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Vevo launches music video iPhone app

The app gives users access to exclusive music video content they can't get on YouTube. Features include trivia that appear while the video loads and 30-second rewinding.

Arcade Fire on Vevo for iPhone
A performance from the Arcade Fire's "Unstaged" video, delivered via the Vevo app for iPhone
Screenshot by Matt Rosoff/CNET

When Vevo launched in December, I wasn't very impressed. I wondered why the site needed to exist when it was mainly serving as a distribution point for the ever-popular YouTube.

Despite my skepticism, it has quickly become one of the most popular video properties in the United States, thanks to its large store of exclusive content. And artists and copyright owners, at least, are getting some money when their videos are distributed through Vevo, which often wasn't the case before.

Vevo on Wednesday launched its free iPhone app, which gives iPhone and iPod Touch users access to 20,000 videos from 7,000 artists directly on their phone. Of course, every iPhone comes with a built-in YouTube app, but most of the videos on Vevo aren't available through YouTube. Moreover, Vevo has set a high quality bar, so the videos are all but guaranteed to look and sound good.

For example, there are plenty of Arcade Fire concert videos available through the YouTube app, but the you'll need the Vevo app to view the band's recent Unstaged concert video, which is professionally shot and recorded--it's not some shaky handheld video full of distorted crowd noise--and includes performances from the recent chart-topping album "The Suburbs."

The Vevo app has a couple of other interesting features that the iPhone YouTube app lacks, such as trivia facts that appear while the video loads and a useful 30-second rewind feature that makes manual scrolling unnecessary.

The Vevo app is available as a free download here.

Correction, 2:00 PM PDT: The Vevo app for iPhone is compatible with the iPad, but Vevo is creating a separate app for the Apple tablet with additional features that take advantage of the larger screen size, so look for that app soon.