Vevo is relying on an unlikely promotional vehicle for its newest slate of up-and-coming artists: The major label-owned music video platform published its first-ever print magazine this week to announce its “Ones to Watch” list of artists that are destined for big things in 2017.
Vevo will distribute the magazine in select stores and music venues across the U.S. and the U.K., and is also going to release an electronic version on its website. The company also began to showcase two of the 20 artists included in the list, Maggie Rogers and Jorja Smith, on its website as well as through its apps and distribution partners Tuesday.
Both artists were introduced to Vevo’s audience with videos shot exclusively for the project. Vevo will debut new videos from the other artists on the list on a weekly basis throughout December.
The Ones to Watch list is the evolution of Vevo’s dscvr program, which was originally developed by Vevo’s U.K. team to highlight up-and-coming artists. Vevo SVP of content and programming Tom Connaughton told Variety earlier this week that dscvr was a bit of an antidote to the big stars that typically dominate Vevo’s charts. “Let’s celebrate the superstars, but let’s make sure that we are fostering the new,” he said.
Some of these artists were unsigned, while others already have contracts with record labels. Altogether, Vevo got more than 500 submissions for the list — and Vevo’s owners didn’t have any influence on who got picked, assured Connaughton. “That would be the last thing that our audiences would want.”
Vevo’s expanded production of original videos comes at a time where the company is looking to be more than just a distribution vehicle for major label content. Vevo CEO Erik Huggers revealed plans to launch a paid subscription service that could carry additional originals earlier this year. Connaughton didn’t draw a direct line between dscvr and these plans, but said that the company was focused in its original content plans. “The music video remains at the heart of everything we do,” he said.