Vevo is getting ready to fill a major gap in its catalog: The music video platform announced a licensing deal with Warner Music Tuesday, which will allow it to carry videos from Warner artists like Bruno Mars and Charli XCX. The deal represents a major step for Vevo towards the launch of its own paid subscription service.
“We’re excited to partner with Warner Music and bring their artists’ content to life through our web and mobile experiences and across a range of our programming,” said Vevo CEO Erik Huggers. Warner Music Group CEO Steve Cooper added: “We’re pleased to have built a flexible and mutually beneficial relationship that will bring additional creative and commercial possibilities to our artists and songwriters.”
Vevo launched back in 2009 with music from Sony and Universal, which both own a significant stake in the company. Warner was for years the lone hold-out, but both companies have been busy negotiating a deal for months.
The deal that both parties have struck now is unique in that it only gives Vevo the rights to distribute Warner’s videos on its own platforms, including its website and mobile apps as well as its TV apps. Warner is still controlling distribution on third-party platforms like Facebook and YouTube, where Vevo currently generates most of its views.
Vevo has long tried to gain some independence from YouTube, and has in recent months relaunched its website and apps across TV and mobile devices. Later this year, Vevo aims to launch its own subscription service. The company hasn’t released many details on that service yet, but it will likely feature ad-free viewing, offline playback and exclusive content.