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Digital Media

Former Vevo, Sony top execs join music-video startup Vadio

Rio Caraeff, who led Vevo from its beginning until he departed in November, joins a former Sony Pictures vice chairman at Vadio, which helps streaming-music services add video to their offering.

Vadio helps streaming music companies also play video. Vadio

Vevo's former CEO Rio Caraeff is striking up a similar tune, joining former Sony executive Yair Landau at Vadio, a startup that helps add video to music-streaming services.

Vadio also announced Tuesday it raised $7.5 million in funding.

The news comes as music-streaming services with free, ad-supported options are grappling to make them more lucrative. As streaming has closed the gap on digital downloads as consumers' preferred way to listen to music, rights holders like labels and artists are increasingly wary of free tiers for failing to convert listeners into paying subscribers as much as they'd like. Online video, which has the richest advertising rates to be found online, could amp up the revenue generated on free tiers. Spotify, for example, is exploring the launch of video on its service, according to a report last week.

Bryce Clemmer, chief executive of Vadio, said the addition of Caraeff as an adviser and Landau as chief operating officer and chairman will bolster Vadio in partnerships with a couple major streaming platforms that will be announced soon. He declined to specify which companies.

Landau and Caraeff both worked at Sony, where Landau served for 17 years. While there, Landau oversaw some of the studio's earliest ventures into the Internet, including working on a user-generated video platform several years before the first YouTube upload. He most recently was a partner at MK Capital while serving as president of Mass Animation, a virtual animation studio that he founded in 2008.

Caraeff led Vevo from its beginning in 2009 as it grew to the official provider of many of the Internet's most-viewed videos, racking up billions of views every month. He departed in November. Before Vevo, he was an executive at Universal Music Group as well as Sony.