Now, YouTube is about to consolidate the millions of subscribers to Vevo’s channels — as well as those on “unofficial” artist-related channels — under a single account for each artist. A YouTube spokesman said artists will not be able to opt out of the subscriber-migration process.
Over the next few weeks, fans currently subscribed to artists’ Vevo or topic channel will now be subscribed to their Official Artist Channels. According to YouTube, Vevo channels will still be accessible via the advanced channel filter in search, and they will also be available if a user is specifically searching for the Vevo channel. In addition, if an artist has only a Vevo channel (and not an Official Artist Channel) the Vevo channel will still appear in search.
“Vevo’s reach and business can continue to grow on YouTube as a direct result of simplifying the user experience through consolidation of an entire artist’s catalog into one channel, where Vevo videos are featured prominently,” the YouTube rep said in a statement.
YouTube says the consolidation of music artists’ subscribers means they’ll get bigger overall reach. They also will be able to use YouTube features like community posts, mobile live-streaming, and ticketing.
Still, the move will effectively eliminate Vevo branding in the channel names; the YouTube rep added that “these changes will impact all music partners equally.” A Vevo rep declined to comment.
Today, Vevo-branded channels are frequently bigger than artists’ “official” ones. The JustinBieberVEVO channel on YouTube has 33.6 million subscribers, while his separate official YouTube channel currently has 4.2 million. TaylorSwiftVEVO has 27.3 million followers, while the official Taylor Swift channel has 2 million.
Vevo’s investors include Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube. The New York-based company’s majority owners are Universal Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, and Abu Dhabi Media holds a minority stake. YouTube has remained a key partner for Vevo, but has in recent years moved to boost its distribution through other platforms including its own apps.
YouTube said it will expand the rollout of the new Official Artist Channels to artists on the platform over the coming weeks.
Pictured above: Taylor Swift’s Vevo channel on YouTube