You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vevo Launches Live Talk Show Across YouTube, Facebook, Twitter (EXCLUSIVE)

Music video service Vevo is doubling down on live video with a new talk show format dubbed Vevo Live that combines artist interviews in front of a studio audience and interaction with viewers watching the show live online. The company has been quietly testing the format over the summer, and soft-launched it this past Friday with a Fifth Harmony Vevo Live show that was watched by more than 3 million viewers.

Vevo Live got its start at a company-internal hackathon last year, where developers came up with an app code-named Vevo Party that allowed Vevo users to chat with each other while watching videos together, recalled Vevo CEO Erik Huggers during an interview with Variety Wednesday. “It started as a grassroots project,” he said. That app didn’t ship, but eventually evolved into Watch Party, a feature of the Vevo.com website that offers much of the same functionality.

Watch Party didn’t just resonate with Vevo’s audience, but also with artists, some of which began to host Watch Parties on their own accord, inviting their fans to join them to impromptu VJ sessions on Vevo’s website. That’s when the folks at Vevo realized that they were onto something, said Huggers, prompting him to allocate additional resources to the project. “You throw a bunch of spaghetti against the wall,” said Huggers. “This one stuck.”

Vevo tested three hosted Watch Parties, at the time called Watch Parties Live, with artists including Becky G, Kid Ink, and Grace Vanderwaal, in July, combining on-camera interviews with music videos. This past Friday, it invited Fifth Harmony for the first official Vevo Live show in front of a studio audience, and streamed the show across Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In addition, fans could watch it on Vevo.com and via the company’s mobile apps and ask the bands questions via a text chat. 3.24 million viewers tuned in for the show across all platforms. “The results blew us away,” said Huggers.

That’s not to say that Vevo is now pivoting to live video. “Our core business is music videos,” said Vevo VP of marketing Stacy Moscatelli. But the company wants to continue to work with big-name artists on Vevo Live shows, and also keep iterating on both formats and technology. “We have some of our best people on it,” said Huggers.

Vevo spent much of last year re-launching its website and apps, and at times seemed to signal that it was trying to distance itself, or perhaps even completely break free, from longtime frenemy YouTube. In that context, it seems notable that Vevo is now live streaming its show on the Google-owned service, as well as other platforms it doesn’t control. However, Huggers argued that this was a natural move to give Vevo Live the widest-possible distribution. “We want to be where the audience is,” he said.

Vevo still has to decide on the exact schedule for future Vevo Live shows, and Huggers wasn’t quite ready to reveal any future artists, but said that the goal was to work with big names that attract massive audiences. “We want to dial it up,” he said.

More Digital

  • China's iQIYI Signs Content, Channel Pact

    China's iQIYI Signs Content, Channel Pact With Malaysia's Astro

    Astro Malaysia, Malaysia’s leading pay-TV operator, has struck a strategic agreement with Chinese streaming platform iQIYI. Astro obtains the exclusive rights to deliver iQIYI content on TV, on-demand and via OTT in Malaysia. It will launch the first iQIYI-branded channel comprising iQIYI’s extensive slate of original content from drama to variety shows and movies. Astro [...]

  • Toy Story 4 Forky

    ‘Toy Story 4’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Disney Pixar claims the top spot in spending with “Toy Story 4.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.53 million through Sunday for 1,073 national ad airings on 38 networks. [...]

  • Murder Mystery

    Netflix Reveals Record-Breaking Stats for Sandler-Aniston 'Murder Mystery' Flick

    “Murder Mystery,” the latest Adam Sandler film to debut on Netflix, broke viewing records on the streaming service, the company revealed Tuesday. The film, which is co-headlined by Jennifer Aniston, was seen by close to 30.9 million households in its first 3 days, according to a tweet sent out Tuesday afternoon. 🚨ADAM SANDLER AND JENNIFER [...]

  • Charles Caldas To Step Down as

    Charles Caldas To Step Down as Merlin CEO

    Charles Caldas, the only CEO that the independent-label collective Merlin has ever known, announced today that he will step down from his post at the end of 2019, after more than 12 years at the helm of the global rights organization. He will continue his current duties until then and work with the Merlin board to [...]

  • Vice Media Digital Makeover Triggers Traffic

    Vice Media Digital Makeover Triggers Traffic Slide

    Life on its own online isn’t easy for Vice Media. Ending the digital publisher’s controversial practice of rolling up web traffic for partner sites into an aggregated number resulted in the total domestic traffic falling nearly by half between March 2019 and the following month, according to Comscore. The numbers improved slightly for May, when [...]

  • Merlin Reports Record Distributions for 2019

    Merlin Reports Record Distributions for 2019

    Global indie-label collective Merlin reported record distributions in its 2019 membership report, paying $845 million to label and distributor members between April 2018 and March of this year. That figure, a 63% year-over-year increase, includes more than $130 million paid out this year from non-royalty income — and included in that figure is the estimated [...]

  • Sarah Iooss - Twitch

    Twitch Hires Sarah Iooss, Former Mic and Viacom Exec, as Head of North America Sales

    Twitch has tapped Sarah Iooss, most recently EVP of revenue at millennial-news startup Mic, to lead the advertising sales team in North America for the Amazon-owned live-streaming video platform focused on video gaming. Iooss will be based in New York, reporting to chief revenue officer Walker Jacobs, who joined Twitch last fall after serving as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content